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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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Former Republican Congressman admits he ‘can’t explain’ Ted Cruz: ‘You’d think he’d have more self-respect’

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) appeared on "Meet the Press" Sunday to perpetuate the false narrative that Ukraine hacked the 2016 election, a fact that has been disproven by all of the U.S. intelligence agencies. When asked to explain what Cruz could possibly have been thinking, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) confessed he has no idea how to explain Cruz.

"So, Charlie, what's going on here?" asked CNN host Fredricka Whitfield.

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Trump busted for acting like the Saudi’s ‘press secretary’ after Florida naval yard shooting

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot blasted President Donald Trump for essentially becoming a "press secretary" for the Saudi Arabian government in wake of the Pensacola, Florida mass shooting.

In his column Sunday, Boot noted that the typical mass shooting sentiments like "thoughts and prayers" were absent Friday when Trump discovered that the shooting was done by a Muslim.

"It turns out that Trump actually has a triple standard, because he treats attacks by Saudis differently than those from other Muslim nations," Boot observed. "On Friday, a Saudi air force officer studying at the Naval Air Station Pensacola shot dead three Americans and wounded eight others. Instead of expressing outrage or vowing vengeance, or even waiting for all the facts to come in, Trump sounded as if he were auditioning for the job of press secretary at the Saudi Embassy."

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McConnell blocked by his own party from calling impeachment witnesses Trump wants for Senate trial: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is finding his hands tied by members of his own party who are skeptical over the appropriateness of calling some of the witnesses Donald Trump  -- and a few of his House Republican enablers  -- want to appear.

As the Times notes, "While Democrats who control the House are focused on a swift impeachment vote by year’s end, the White House is almost entirely consumed by the trial that would follow in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Mr. Trump’s team believes he would have the chance to defend himself and where Democrats would almost certainly fall short of the two-thirds vote they would need to remove him from office."

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