Bush Admits He Approved White House Torture Manual

A classic Friday news dump – media ignored Bush’s confession to prima facie war crimes while focusing on candidate Obama describing voters as ‘bitter’

“Well, we started to connect the dots in order to protect the American people. And yes, I’m aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved,” George Bush said to ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz late on Friday:
The big story on cable news today is the controversy over Obama saying voters were “bitter.”

President Bush says he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details about how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency….

The high-level discussions about [the torture techniques] were so detailed, these sources said, some of the interrogation sessions were almost choreographed — down to the number of times CIA agents could use a specific tactic.

These top advisers signed off on how the CIA would interrogate top al Qaeda suspects — whether they would be slapped, pushed, deprived of sleep or subjected to simulated drowning, called waterboarding, sources told ABC news.

Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley has described the drafting of torture guidelines by White House officials as a war crime. In addition to Bush, the officials at the meetings, which started in 2002, included Vice Pres. Dick Cheney, Sec. of State Colin Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld, Attorney Gen. John Ashcroft, CIA Director George Tenet, and their aides.

Colin Powell told ABC News that he didn’t have “sufficient memory recall” about the meetings and that he had participated in “many meetings on how to deal with detainees…” But that he’s “not aware of anything that we discussed in any of those meetings that was not considered legal.”

Last year, George Tenet attempted to shift blame preemptively to Ashcroft. “It was authorized. It was legal, according to the Attorney General of the United States,” Tenet told ABC News.

Releasing bad news like this on a Friday afternoon is classic White House damage control, and of course it has worked. The media are either ignoring the story or reacting to it with a Cheney-esque, “So?” In fact, the big story on cable news today is the controversy over Barack Obama saying that some Americans are bitter.


  • republicanSScareme
    April 13, 2008 - 1:23 am | Permalink

    Why is it so many of the rich and powerful enjoy being thugs?

    I wonder if they had prayers before or after the meetings?

  • Sharon
    April 13, 2008 - 12:57 pm | Permalink

    Any wonder “some” Americans are bitter?

  • Ron Russell
    April 13, 2008 - 10:38 pm | Permalink

    For the better part of 40 years, I always wondered how the average German could have allowed Nazi war crimes to happen. Sadly and shamefully, I now know. The sickening part is that I can’t do a damn thing about it. I’ve posted, I’ve voted, I’ve donated, I’ve marched in protest, I’ve called my lawmakers and it still happens and will continue to do so. Someday, someone will ask us how we could have allowed it and I will still be hanging my head in shame. Being powerless, does not absolve any of us of these crimes.

  • Pingback: Bush & Top Administration officials approved and encouraged torture - and know you won’t do anything about it « Hope2012

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