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Pressure rises on Obama to investigate Bush for torture

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President Barack Obama is facing new demands that he investigate former President George W. Bush for ordering torture.

The former president admitted in his new book Decision Points that he ordered waterboarding of terrorist detainees. Amnesty International, and Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) have both called on the Obama administration to launch an investigation.

Now the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is joining that effort.

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In his book, 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 admits he told the CIA.

Bush defended his decision by telling NBC’s Matt Lauer that waterboarding was legal “because the lawyer said it was.”

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder (.pdf) Wednesday, the ACLU noted, “The Department of Justice has made clear that waterboarding is torture and, as such, a crime under the federal anti-torture statute.”

Holder has tapped Assistant US Attorney John Durham to look into whether the CIA or contractors went beyond legal interrogation methods. That investigation is ongoing, according to NPR. But the scope of Durham’s investigation does not include White House officials.

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“In light of the admission by the former President, and the legally correct determination by the Department of Justice that waterboarding is a crime, you should ensure that Mr. Durham’s current investigation into detainee interrogations encompasses the conduct and decisions of former President Bush,” wrote ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero.

Amnesty International Senior Director Claudio Cordone said in a statement that the Obama administration must prosecute the former president.

“If his admission is substantiated, the USA has the obligation to prosecute him,” he said. “In the absence of a US investigation, other states must step in and carry out such an investigation themselves.”

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In a press release Wednesday, Nadler also pressed the Obama administration to look into Bush’s waterboarding orders.

“Waterboarding has long been considered torture – a view shared by the Obama Administration – and committing or ordering torture is a severe crime under both international and U.S. laws, for which we have convicted foreigners and Americans in the past,” Nadler said. “The President is bound by the Constitution to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ Failure to order a criminal investigation would be a serious dereliction of duty. With President Bush’s admission, no further excuses or evasions are conscionable.”

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“It is a smoking gun,” Nadler told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz Wednesday. “I’m dubious that he will do it because this administration unfortunately has taken the opinion, taken the attitude that they’re not going to look at any criminal actions by, within the prior administration. They say ‘let’s look forward, not backward.’ By that standard no one would be prosecuted for any crime.”

But it’s not just Democrats and rights groups that have Bush in their sights. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) has said that he has “no hesitation” in investigating the former commander in chief.

“I’m not afraid of going after the Bush administration,” he told MSNBC’s Dylan Ratigan Tuesday. “I wasn’t brought here by the establishment.”

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Singer and songwriter pens ballad about ‘bunker boy Donald Trump’

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Singer/songwriter Courtney Jaye, whose album "Love and Forgiveness" was named as one of the Top 50 Albums of 2013 by American Songwriter, has penned an epic ballot dedicated to President Donald Trump.

It was reported Sunday that Trump was rushed to the White House bunker on Friday evening as a few hundred protesters surrounded the building. As the weekend progressed, more and more protesters have come to stand in opposition to police violence and a White House they feel isn't doing enough to stop it.

Trump has tried to claim that he was really just "inspecting" the bunker, but it went down like a lead balloon.

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Three right-wing ‘boogaloo’ militants arrested on terrorism charges in Las Vegas: report

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On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced that three far-right militants with ties to the "boogaloo" movement have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in Las Vegas, according to The Seattle Times.

"Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus and later sought to capitalize on protests over the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody," reported Michelle Price and Scott Sonner.

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‘Showing off with these complete sentences’: Internet rejoices as ‘Real President’ Obama speaks – ‘I miss him’

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Former President Barack Obama delivered forward-looking, encouraging remarks in response to the police killing of George Floyd and the ongoing nationwide protests, and the Internet rejoiced. President Obama's comments, part of a town hall organized by his My Brother's Keeper Alliance, were focused for his younger audience, and were short and seemingly off-the-cuff, yet inspired a nation thirsting for caring, intelligence, and leadership.

Take a look.

I Love President Barack Obama.

That’s the tweet.#ObamaTownHall pic.twitter.com/0yevRYTqSe

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