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Bush on waterboarding: ‘I’d do it again’

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Speaking to a crowd in Grand Rapids, Michigan on Wednesday, former president George W. Bush told onlookers that his administration did in fact waterboard alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and suggested that his action saved American lives.

“Yeah, we water-boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,” Bush said, according to a local newspaper. “I’d do it again to save lives.”

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Bush’s Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel orally advised the CIA on July 26, 2002, “that the use of waterboarding was” legal, and put it into writing in August of that year.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in March, 2003.

Two psychologists were paid to devise the waterboarding program, which “fake” drowned detainees in an effort to produce vital information. The United States prosecuted Japanese soldiers for doing the same thing after World War II.

The two former military officers, both psychologists, were paid $1,000 a day by the Central Intelligence Agency to supervise the torture and waterboarding of US detainees, according to a report published late Thursday.

According to current and former government officials cited by ABC News, the CIA doled out responsibility for waterboarding to a private contractor, Mitchell Jessen and Associates. Waterboarding of detainees was designed to be “safe” by the two men running the firm, Bruce Jessen and Jim Mitchell.

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But privately, military figures have disagreed. “They went to two individuals who had no interrogation experience,” one military officer was quoted as saying at the time. “They are not interrogators.”

“Documents show the CIA later came to learn that the two psychologists’ waterboarding “expertise” was probably “misrepresented” and thus, there was no reason to believe it was “medically safe” or effective,” the authors write. “The waterboarding used on al Qaeda detainees was far more intense than the brief sessions used on U.S. military personnel in the training classes.”


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Fox News hosts are going back to downplaying threat from coronavirus: report

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Major Fox News personalities like Sean Hannity spent weeks assuring viewers that the novel coronavirus wasn't a serious threat. In recent weeks, however, they have shifted to a different narrative, acknowledging that the virus is dangerous but giving President Donald Trump credit for taking action and criticizing Democrats' lack of action — even though many Democrats, in fact, warned the pubic first.

But according to The Daily Beast, even as there is no clear end to the crisis in sight, and even as the U.S. crosses 13,000 deaths, many Fox News hosts are going back to downplaying the virus, either telling viewers it wasn't as bad as advertised and urging the president to end public safety measures against it.

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The dangers of Trump TV: MSNBC host hammers Fox News as ‘genuine public health threat’ amid pandemic

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Tuesday night, Fox News decided that all anyone needed to do is to pump Americans with a Malaria drug and send them back to work to save President Donald Trump's economy.

Speaking Wednesday night, MSNBC host Chris Hayes bashed the conservative network for downplaying the seriousness of coronavirus, saying that they are "a genuine public health threat."

While Trump has advisers like Dr. Anthony Fauci, he also has the unofficial advisers he sees on Fox News.

They "are coalescing around the idea the whole thing is just overblown and we need to pump everyone full of the malaria drug and get them back to work. This is what you heard if you watch trump tv just last night," Hayes said. He then played clips illustrating exactly that, with hosts ranting and raving about the virus not being as serious as the flu.

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‘Don’t let him rewrite history’: GOP ex-congressman slams Trump for painting fewer than 100,000 COVID-19 deaths as a victory

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At Wednesday's coronavirus task force press conference, President Donald Trump reiterated his claim that if fewer than 100,000 Americans die from COVID-19, it will be a victory for him.

Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) had none of it.

He ignored the warnings. He ignored the scientists & doctors. He refused to prepare. He lied about the virus. This country wasn’t ready. People got sick. People died. People lost their jobs. Because he cared more about himself than the country.

Don’t let him rewrite history. https://t.co/9snqoJ1VQI

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