Former British intelligence chairman all but calls Bush liar, says waterboarding didn’t stop terror
Source: The Raw Story
A former British government minister who also led the House of Commons Intelligence Committee threw cold water on claims made by former President George W. Bush that waterboarding saved British lives.
The ex-minister, Kim Howells, all but accused Bush of lying in a radio interview. He said he wasn't convinced that waterboarding produced intelligence that helped foil terror plots at Heathrow Airport and Canary Wharf, in London, though he agreed that the plots were real. Howells is currently a Labour MP and served as a foreign minister of state from 2005 to 2008.
“I don’t think there was any doubt there were real plots,” Howells told the BBC Radio 4 Today. “Where I doubt what President Bush has said is that this, what we regard as torture, actually produced information which was instrumental in preventing those plots coming to fruition. I’m not convinced of that.”
He also said, without qualification, that waterboarding was "torture," and that Bush simply wanted to "justify what he did to the world."
6. centrists told us to look past torture and watch
Edited on Tue Nov-09-10 09:54 PM by scentopine
gifts come from republicans. It was a peace offering to our brave men and women parading naked prisoners around the cell block. Crawling on their knees.
1. Bush - legalized and condoned torture, was caught in the act pants down (with 240V AC lines connected to testicles). Bush then used every means at his disposal to legalize it and hide it from the voters because he thought voters would crucify him if they found out.
2. Enter Obama - Obama proceeded to sensibly explain that while these things are unpleasant and there are thousands and thousands of photos and videos documenting the abuses by CIA and CIA contractors, ARMY punks, officers, etc) there is nothing so wrong about torture that we need to prosecute the perpatrators. Centrists threw torture in our faces and called it a pony. In this simple careless act he became the hero of bully's across America.
3. Wiki leaks has documented the abuses continued after Obama's calm sensible rhetoric and likely continue to this day.
4. Obama did something arguably worse than Bush. Bush knew that torture was morally wrong. He tried to hide. THe brilliant chess master made it a unpleasant but necessary part of the American war on terror, or conceivably anyone who is rounded up and viewed as a "credible" threat. Of course, because Obama fortified secrecy laws, we'll never know exactly what evidence exists. Obama decided we are grown up enough to accept the raping a man's rectum with a toilet plunger while clamping genitals in vice grips with an ice pick through his knee cap is a not so horrible that we need to prosecute the perpetrator like some sort of Jeffery Dahmer. And so this is how the centrists are better than Bush. Bush was not strong enough to make the case for torture. Obama in this respect is clearly better than Bush. Obama wasted no time using his mandate to order America look past torture. And so it continues to this day, although with much better secrecy.
5. Bush is now sullen and depressed that had he simply employed the same straight talk and soothing rhetoric, he could have lulled the American people in accepting 6 men punching and raping a 16 year old suspect until he or she is bleeding from every orifice and then drag the suspect's the body around the prison floor, smearing blood, as a message to the other suspects who then later are forced to get on their hands and knees and mop up the blood. Boys will be boys. It's not like some southern good ol boys lynching a black man in the 1920s.
Obama clearly knows how to get things done. Well done, sir. Well done. Bush was a coward. He tried to hide torture. Obama exposed it to us all and we forgive and forget. Of course when it came to the promised photes, Obama was also a coward, but centrists tell us the this is the most open administration in history. Just ask BP. But I digress.
If there is any one thing that indicates America returning to a feral state of Animal cruelty it is our ability to listen to centrists and look past torture with barely a word of outrage.
Every democrat should hang their head in shame. And after the votes are counted, it could be many dems are doing exactly that.
on edit - I apologize for unfairly comparing "Animal kingdom" to the torturers that we shelter from justice. Only the human animal as documented in time of war or imaginary war exhibits such native and instinctive cruelty. And only the human animal has a mind so twisted that it can indemnify this behavior by creating a sociopathic illusion of a multi-dimensional chess game.
13. Yes. (And add Tony Blair to the collection too)
> The question is - would you be willing to give up Bill Clinton & Barack Obama > to get Bush? Clinton of course ordered the bombing of Belgrade (including the > Chinese Embassy) without any UN mandate and Barack Obama has allowed UAVs to > continue to kill non-combatants.
Which part of "This must stop" are you having difficulty with?
If you are still (after all these years) defending the exceptionalism argument for crimes against humanity, just what do you think is necessary to stop this wanton murder of civilians for political & economic purposes?
Or are you just part of the "look forward" crowd who view murder as something that only applies in small numbers ("One death is a tragedy. A million deaths is just a statistic.") and thus after an arbitrary number, there is no need to punish those criminals responsible for the deaths, just reward them?
Wednesday, November 10, 2010 Waterboarding is torture, British government confirms
* Dismisses George Bush’s claim in his memoirs that interrogation technique is legal and helped foil attacks on Heathrow, Canary Wharf
LONDON: The British government on Tuesday dismissed George Bush’s claim that waterboarding is not torture after the former president used his memoirs to play down the brutality of the interrogation technique and claimed that it saved British lives, reported the Guardian newspaper.
Waterboarding, which was banned by President Barack Obama, helped foil attacks on Heathrow airport, Canary Wharf and a number of US targets around the world, according to Bush. In Decision Points, published on Tuesday, Bush insists the practice – which simulates drowning – is not torture, describing it instead as one of a number of “enhanced interrogation techniques”.
But Downing Street confirmed the British government still shared Obama’s opinion that waterboarding constitutes torture. “It comes under that definition in our view,” a No 10 spokeswoman said. The former chair of the Commons intelligence and security committee, Kim Howells, cast doubt on Bush’s claim that it had helped save British lives. “We are not convinced,” said the Labour MP.
In an interview with the Times, Bush said: “Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives.” Asked if he had authorised the use of the technique in the interrogation of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Bush answered: ‘Damn right!’
“We capture the guy, the chief operating officer of al Qaeda, who kills 3,000 people. We felt he had the information about another attack. “He says: ‘I’ll talk to you when I get my lawyer.’ I say: ‘What options are available and legal?’”
The claim that waterboarding prevented London attacks was challenged by Howells, . He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that there had been and still were “real plots”, but added that “we’re not convinced” that waterboarding produced information which was “instrumental in preventing these plots coming to fruition and murdering people”.
Howells said Bush was trying to “justify what he did to the world”, a viewpoint echoed by the former shadow home secretary David Davis. Davis told Today that although security information provided from abroad would have to be used regardless of how it was obtained, torture did not work and should be discouraged. “People under torture tell you what you want to hear,” he said.
In his memoir, Bush writes that waterboarding was highly effective, providing “large amounts of information”. “No doubt the procedure was tough, but medical experts assured the CIA that it did no lasting harm,” he writes.
16. British deny George Bush's claims that torture helped foil terror plots
British officials said today there was no evidence to support claims by George Bush, the former US president, that information extracted by "waterboarding" saved British lives by foiling attacks on Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf. In his memoirs, Bush said the practice – condemned by Downing Street as torture – was used in CIA interrogations of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the US.
He said Mohammed, below, was one of three al-Qaida suspects subjected to waterboarding. "Their interrogations helped break up plots to attack American diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow airport, and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States," he wrote.
It is not the first time information extracted from Mohammed has been claimed as helping to prevent al-Qaida attacks on British targets. Mohammed cited attacks on Heathrow, Big Ben and Canary Wharf in a list of 31 plots he described at Guantánamo Bay after he was subjected to waterboarding 183 times following his capture in Pakistan in March 2003. The Heathrow alert in fact happened a month before his arrest, with army tanks parked around the airport, in what was widely regarded as an overreaction.
British counter-terrorism officials distanced themselves from Bush's claims. They said Mohammed provided "extremely valuable" information which was passed on to security and intelligence agencies, but that it mainly related to al-Qaida's structure and was not known to have been extracted through torture. Eliza Manningham-Buller,head of MI5 at the time, said earlier this year that the government protested to the US over the torture of terror suspects, but that the Americans concealed Mohammed's waterboarding from Britain. Officials said today the US still had not officially told the British government about the conditions in which Mohammed was held.
Other than not accepting waterboarding as torture, Bush authorized it for 3 individuals and followed the Dershowitz model,
"The use of torture in the ticking bomb case, like the shooting down of the hijacked airplane, involves a horrible choice of evils. In my view this choice should be made with visibility and accountability, either by a judicial officer or by the President of the United States."
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