President George W. Bush admits for the first time in his new memoir that he personally approved the use of waterboarding, a technique in which an interrogator simulates drowning on a suspect. The method, which most describe as torture, has since been banned by the Justice Department.
In his book, “Decision Points,” Bush asserts that he was asked by the Central Intelligence Agency whether he would support the agency’s waterboarding of Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the alleged 9/11 mastermind.
“Damn right,” Bush says that he said.
The Washington Post’s R. Jeffrey Smith avers that a source close to Bush says he would have done the same thing again “to save lives,” though there’s been no proof produced that the torture technique has.
“Bush previously had acknowledged endorsing what he described as the CIA’s “enhanced” interrogation techniques – a term meant to encompass irregular, coercive methods – after Justice Department officials and other top aides assured him they were legal,” Smith notes.
In February, Vice president Dick Cheney said that he personally “was a big supporter of waterboarding.”
Bush’s admission could have international consequences for human rights.
“President Obama and Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. have both said waterboarding is an act of torture proscribed by international law, a viewpoint supported by a handful of Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill and opposed by other Republicans,” Smith notes. “But the Obama administration has not sought to punish former Bush administration officials for approving it.
“The 26-year-old United Nations Convention Against Torture requires that all parties to it seek to enforce its provisions, even for acts committed elsewhere,” he adds. “That provision, known as universal jurisdiction, has been cited in the past by prosecutors in Spain and Belgium to justify investigations of acts by foreign officials. But no such trials have occurred in foreign courts.”
Bush’s new book is to be released next Tuesday.
China vows to retaliate for Trump’s Rose Garden press conference — and could impose new sanctions on America
US President Donald Trump said Tuesday he was ending preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong and had signed into law an act that authorises sanctions on banks over China's clampdown in the international finance hub.
In a discursive news conference dominated by attacks on his domestic rivals, Trump declared himself to be the toughest president ever on China, a country he is increasingly positioning as his nemesis ahead of November elections.
Trump announced that he had issued an executive order on Hong Kong as he predicted decline for the restless city, on which Beijing recently imposed a tough new security law.
Trump’s former White House doctor Ronny Jackson wins GOP runoff for Congress in Texas
Ronny Jackson, the former White House physician and President Donald Trump's onetime nominee for secretary of veterans affairs, has won his bid for the Republican nomination for a solidly red congressional seat in the Texas Panhandle.
With 100% of polling locations reporting, though some mail-in ballots will still need to be counted, Jackson held a lead of 11 percentage points over Josh Winegarner, a veteran agriculture expert and lobbyist. Jackson and Winegarner were competing for a seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, who is retiring and held the seat since 1995.
Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’
As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.
If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020