US Bush administration admits waterboarding torture

This video from the USA is called Keith Olbermann: “Waterboarding is Torture”, and It’s Settled Law – 4/23/09.

By Joe Kay:

Bush administration acknowledges and defends use of torture technique

7 February 2008

The White House publicly acknowledged on Wednesday that President Bush has authorized the use of waterboarding, and that he may do so again in the future. The statements amount to an open admission of criminal activity on the part of the US government.

The acknowledgement from White House deputy spokesman Tony Fratto came a day after testimony from CIA Director Michael Hayden before the Senate Intelligence Committee. For the first time, Hayden officially stated that the Bush administration had used waterboarding on three prisoners in 2002 and 2003.

Waterboarding is a form of torture used since the Spanish Inquisition. It involves pouring water over a prisoner’s head to cause drowning, and has been prosecuted as torture by the United States government in the past. While the Bush administration is now stretching language and credulity to claim that it should not be categorized as torture, the director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, acknowledged on Wednesday that “taken to its extreme, [the consequences of waterboarding] could be death; you could drown someone.”

16 thoughts on “US Bush administration admits waterboarding torture

  1. Posted by: “Jack” bongo_fury2004
    Thu Feb 7, 2008 8:23 pm (PST)

    US Censured For Waterboarding

    by Martin Hodgson and agencies
    The Guardian(UK)
    Thursday, February 7, 2008

    The UN’s chief torture investigator criticized the US government yesterday for defending the use of “waterboarding”, an interrogation method often described as a form of torture.

    Manfred Nowak, the special rapporteur on torture, said: “This is absolutely unacceptable under international human rights law. [The] time has come that the government will actually acknowledge that they did something wrong and not continue trying to justify what is unjustifiable.”

    On Tuesday, the CIA admitted for the first time that it had used the technique, in which interrogators strap a suspect to a board and pour water through a cloth over the face, creating a sensation of drowning. Testifying before Congress, the CIA director, Michael Hayden, said the method had been used on the suspected September 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and senior al-Qaida leaders Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

    He said waterboarding had not been used for five years, but yesterday the White House deputy spokesman Tony Fratto said the practice could be revived if authorized by the president. It would depend on the circumstances, including the belief that an attack might be imminent.

    Nowak, an Austrian law professor, said: “I’m not willing any more to discuss these questions with the US government, when they still say that this is allowed. It’s not allowed.”

    © Guardian News and Media Limited 2008,,2253630,00.html


  2. Bush is the Symptom – Conservatism is the Disease
    Posted by: “lilgeorgiehas2go” lilgeorgiehas2go
    Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:54 pm (PST)

    February 11, 2008

    by Alicia Morgan

    We have had the implementation of unfettered conservatism for the past twenty-five years. In my upcoming book the Price of Right I’ve set myself the task to make clear why it is not just George W. Bush that is the problem – it is the ideology of conservatism itself.

    Bush is the symptom; conservatism is the disease.

    Even as liberals debate conservatives, we cede them the `rightness’ of their basic tenets, which I think is a mistake. I hope to show that conservatism – both social and economic – is detrimental to a democratic society. By `conservatism’ I do not mean prudence and moderation – which is what many people take conservatism to mean – but the political and social meaning which includes the myth of the `free market’, the elimination of as much regulation and taxes as can be gotten away with, the myth that privatization is the best way to deal with society’s needs, and that government is in itself a bad thing. The (usually) unspoken corollary to this is the `Conservative Golden Rule’ – he who has the gold makes the rules. In other words, the people with money and power are the best and most deserving – simply because they have the money and power! This is a strongly-held belief of many people, but it is not acceptable to say in so many words, so there are many euphemisms to describe it – `meritocracy’, `pulling yourself up by your bootstraps’, `reverse discrimination’, and so on. Conservatism’s message is connected to some very powerful societal myths that resonate deeply in the subconscious mind, making it easier to believe in the myths than the facts.

    But America as a nation was built on liberal and progressive values, rather than conservative ones. If by `conservative’ you mean the status quo – keeping things the way they are, rather than changing, then conservatives would be the Royalists and liberals would be the Revolutionaries. The United States of America was not founded by people who did as they were told by the authority in power – in this case George III, who considered his power directly God-given. In fact, every significant advance in this country for the betterment of its people – freedom for slaves, women’s rights, child-labor laws, civil rights, the American 20th-century middle class itself – came about as a result of liberal ideals and policies.

    = = =

    George W. Bush certainly is the worst president in American history, but he could not have achieved that distinction without the conservative philosophy that says “What’s good for business is good for America.” It is conservativism that has created the monster that is George W. Bush, not the other way around.

    I believe it is time for liberals to call themselves liberals, and be proud of being liberal. It is time to stop ceding conservatives the moral high ground and start pointing out where conservatism itself has had a direct and destructive effect on the United States and the rest of the world.

    Conservatism is inherently anti-democratic. Conservatives do not believe that all men (and women) are created equal. Conservatives believe that some people are more equal, more deserving, more entitled than others, and it’s the fault of the ‘others’ if they are shut out.

    Folks, the principles that our nation was founded on are the exact principles that conservatives oppose! We as liberals need to begin pointing that out. Nothing would make me happier than to see a Democratic candidate boast about what a liberal he or she was. That would give me hope for our country.

    Remember – Bush is only the symptom – conservatism is the disease. Let’s work togther for a cure.


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