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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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2020 Election

Lincoln Project whacks the president: ‘We end COVID when we end Trump’s presidency’

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President Donald Trump on Thursday held a campaign rally in Wisconsin with supporters "packed in like sardines."

At the rally, Trump ridiculed former Vice President Joe Biden for social distancing at campaign appearances with America's death toll over 200,000. Also on Thursday, Biden held a town hall meeting on CNN where he spoke in-depth about the challenges of a coronavirus vaccine.

The Lincoln Project, the group of former top GOP strategists working to defeat Trump, said that "only one candidate will protect your family from coronavirus" in a new video.

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Trump said he would give UN speech despite pandemic — but reversed course and won’t be attending

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US President Donald Trump will not attend next week's UN General Assembly gathering in person, his chief of staff told journalists aboard Air Force One Thursday, according to a pool report.

The decision marks an about-face for Trump, who last month said he wanted to deliver his speech in the General Assembly hall in New York, even if other world leaders are staying away due to the coronavirus pandemic.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ended the debate once and for all, telling reporters en route to Wisconsin, where Trump was to hold a campaign rally, that the president would not physically attend the General Assembly's 75th session, which will take place mainly by videoconference due to the health crisis.

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2020 Election

Trump mocked for 95-minute ‘slurring’ campaign speech — before crowd ‘packed in like sardines’ in Wisconsin

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President Donald Trump gave a fear-filled and factually inaccurate campaign rally in Mosinee, Wisconsin on Thursday.

The rally, held in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, featured a large crowd closely packed together.

Here's some of what people were saying about Trump's speech, which lasted approximately 95 minutes:

https://twitter.com/RSBNetwork/status/1306433275381116928

https://twitter.com/bad_takes/status/1306758848577966081

Trump is slurring and sounds tired pic.twitter.com/6MJLw2fpms

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