Bush Denies Torture Exists. Maybe He Should Check With Cheney?

by FreedomWriter on June 26, 2007

no torture letter to bush from children
In what can only be described as a “gutsy move” by a group of high school Presidential Scholars visiting the White House, President Bush was presented with a letter signed by these 50 high school seniors asking him to halt to violations of the human rights of terror suspects being held by the United States. Bush had definitely not expected the letter but did stop to read it and talk with the young woman who gave the letter to him.

During Monday nights NBC Nightly News, there was a brief segment concerning this visit. During the segment anchor Brian Williams showed a copy of the students letter with an enlargement of the sentence:
“We do not want America to represent torture”
(full transcript below)

BRIAN WILLIAMS: A surprise for President Bush today at an otherwise perfectly ordinary annual event on the President’s schedule — 141 high school seniors from around the country, this year’s class of presidential scholars, came to the White House for a meet-and-greet with the President. When they got there, 50 of them presented him with a handwritten letter that they had signed demanding that the United States stop the practice of torture. Afterward, one of the students told our NBC News White House producer that the President told them the United States does not practice torture, the very same thing the President has said publicly in the past.

But according to the Washington Post article series “Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency” by Barton Gellman and Jo Becker, Cheney’s beliefs are quite different. Obviously Mr. Cheney believes torture is an accepted form of prisoner interrogation and the terms of the Geneva Convention can, and will, be ignored in Bush’s “war on terror.”
(excerpt below)

“Shortly after the first accused terrorists reached the U.S. naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on Jan. 11, 2002, a delegation from CIA headquarters arrived in the Situation Room. The agency presented a delicate problem to White House counsel Alberto R. Gonzales, a man with next to no experience on the subject. Vice President Cheney’s lawyer, who had a great deal of experience, sat nearby. The meeting marked “the first time that the issue of interrogations comes up” among top-ranking White House officials, recalled John C. Yoo, who represented the Justice Department. “The CIA guys said, ‘We’re going to have some real difficulties getting actionable intelligence from detainees’” if interrogators confined themselves to humane techniques allowed by the Geneva Conventions.

From that moment, well before previous accounts have suggested, Cheney turned his attention to the practical business of crushing a captive’s will to resist. The vice president’s office played a central role in shattering limits on coercion in U.S. custody, commissioning and defending legal opinions that the Bush administration has since portrayed as the initiatives, months later, of lower-ranking officials.

Cheney and his allies, according to more than two dozen current and former officials, pioneered a novel distinction between forbidden “torture” and permitted use of “cruel, inhuman or degrading” methods of questioning. They did not originate every idea to rewrite or reinterpret the law, but fresh accounts from participants show that they translated muscular theories, from Yoo and others, into the operational language of government.”

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mr. Charrington 06.27.07 at 10:10 am

Ambush! Out of the mouths of babes….

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