2006 September 6

President Bush Lies – Says U.S. Does Not Torture


In a lengthy defense of his administration’s anti-terrorist policies, and in response to charges that terrorist suspects were being tortured, President George W. Bush adamantly asserted that the U.S. does not engage in torture. “I want to be absolutely clear with our people and the world,” he stated. The United States does not torture. It’s against our laws, and it’s against our values.” All of the evidence, however, indicates that Bush was lying. (Whether Mr. Bush fully understood that he was not telling the truth, is another matter. Much evidence about his administration suggests that he may not have.) Bush’s statement that the U.S. does not torture followed a long and detailed discussion in his speech of specific detainee cases, including several paragraphs devoted to Abu Zubaydah, and how the interrogations had produced valuable information. Other evidence, however, indicates that Zubaydah was in fact tortured.

The so-called “harsh interrogation” techniques used by the CIA against terrorist suspects held at Guantanamo Bay and other secret CIA prisons around the world (known as “black sites”) amounted to torture in the eyes of international law experts and human rights activists around the world. The “hash interrogation” techniques were justified in the notorious “torture memo” of August 1, 2001, by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel. When Jack Goldsmith became head of the OLC, however, he withdrew approval of the memo, in June 2004.

In December 2014, after a long fight with the CIA and Committee Republicans, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 525 page redacted report on the CIA torture program.

Read the Senate Torture Report: http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/study2014/sscistudy1.pdf

Learn more: Alfred W. McCoy, A Question of Torture (2006)

Learn more at Torturing Democracy (timeline, documents, documentary): http://www.torturingdemocracy.org/

Read the infamous “torture memo” for yourselfhttp://www.justice.gov/olc/docs/memo-gonzales-aug2002.pdf

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