Bush: “I’d Do It Again”

Former President George W. Bush proudly proclaimed this week “Yeah, we water-boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed . . I’d do it again to save lives.” Fortunately, he will not be given another chance but, due to the actions of President Obama and Attorney General Holder to bar any investigation or prosecution of torture, future presidents may well indeed to do it again.

Bush’s remarks came at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids. These comments follow Vice President Dick Cheney and Karl Rove virtually bragging about torture during the Administration, here. This shameful moment belongs not to Bush but to Obama who worked to block the fulfillment of our domestic and international obligations to prosecute such offenses. We will continue to have torture discussed casually as just another tough-guy policy choice. Because it would have been politically unpopular to prosecute people for torture, the Obama Administration has allowed officials to downgrade torture from a war crime to a talking point.

For the story, click here.

72 thoughts on “Bush: “I’d Do It Again”

  1. “This shameful moment belongs not to Bush but to Obama who worked to block the fulfillment of our domestic and international obligations to prosecute such offenses.”

    Well said, Professor. I am beyond disappointed that Obama has given Dubya, Darth, and Turdblossom a free pass on torture. I also find that not only should Obama be ashamed, but we as a people should be ashamed for allowing the Bush Cabal of Criminals to not only torture, but for not holding them accountable.

    My disgust for the Bush Crime Family knows no bounds.

  2. It’s amazing the kinds of things Republican leaders brag about.

    It’s amazing the kinds of things Democratic leaders choose to ignore.

  3. For once Tootie, we are in complete agreement.

    I would just add the the following modifier: criminal idiot.

  4. Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, their staffs, and their followers have unequivocally demonstrated that the Rule of Law and Treaties mean nothing. Even highly respected legal scholars such as Professor Turley are powerless to do anything whatsoever except to illustrate, condemn, and lament about such violations of law.

    Most times, I wonder why we even care or bother because those wielding the power in big government are going to do whatever they want. The law really does not matter—only the powerful misfits’ legal interpretations matter.

    I am fortunate that I am in my 6th decade of life and that I lived when most people respected the law. I fear that if I were a young man in today’s world, I would not be the law-abiding absolutist that I have been my entire life.

    I have stated this before; I am a Republican and I despise Mr. Bush and his crew. I voted for Mr. Obama; however, I now have nothing but utter contempt for everything about him and for which he stands. One man is a pathetic, imbecilic, ultra religious halfwit who started the rapid decline of this once great Nation, while the other is an educated—although exceptionally naïve and untrustworthy—liar who continues the moral, ethical, and legal decline by perpetuating many of Bush’s insane, corrupt, and illegal practices.

  5. FFLEO,

    We all suffer when the law becomes lawless. Eventually those in governance will find out the hard way that this kind of blatant injustice will utterly destroy them as well. Our streets may be ablaze and anarchy in bloom, but those responsible will be choking on their cake as Rome burns. That’s the pattern history shows to me.

  6. Turdblossom – “where ever he goes, something comes up”.

    FFLEO. I am not what you in the US would call a republican. But you Sir are my kind of Republican.

    Back to the original thread. These torturers always give the same old “ticking bomb” excuse. A right load of 8/3 pi r cubed.

    As any fule kno, someone who is being tortured will only say what the torturer wants to hear – the truth does not come into it. The oportunities for a genuine bad guy to tie up his enemies resources on wild goose chases are enormous.

    Any terrorist group worth the name (along with special forces units) give training on how to react under torture.

  7. Pandering to the crowd. A lot of Dutch Reformed with a lot of money.

    Home of AmWay owners Dick and Betsy DeVos. Betsy sister of Erik Prince principal of Blackwater.

    Pandering to the crowd.

  8. Byron: “vlf2112: who is Turdblossom? There are so many candidates from the Bush years.”

    Buddha Is Laughing: “Byron, That’s Bush’s nickname for Rove.”

    ———
    Wikipedia has an overly long entry for Rove IMO. It should read simply “George W. Bush [freaking GEORGE W. BUSH!] nicknamed him “Turdblosson”; think about it.”
    :-)

  9. So what should we do with these guys to get them to talk, offer milk and cookies??? If your family’s life was directly impacted by the information a criminal had, what would you do? Where we sit, we are far removed from the impact, so we see it as wrong. But is it???

  10. Former Federal LEO: “Mr. Bush, Mr. Obama, their staffs, and their followers have unequivocally demonstrated that the Rule of Law and Treaties mean nothing.”

    Um… that’s kinda’ a broad brush there friend. I am a supporter in that I voted for him (and will again if the alternative is a McCain/Palin-clone) and and had high hopes for my brand of change but short of storming the WH I don’t know what his supporters could do; e-mails and telephone calls haven’t worked. Many of us (we?) supporters want nothing so much as a return to the rule of law.

    I would though like a clear playing field for him and a greater opportunity for significant change where ever possible. For us not him. A playing field without the obstructionist party of “hell no!” and the Blue Dogs.

    Like BIL I have seen a direct correlation between cities burning and fundamental social/political change and maybe that is what will happen again; that seems to be what it takes. I’m not even sure that would do it though because the infrastructure for repression has been greatly refined over the last couple of decades.

  11. Eric Holder an Obama are disaster when it comes to the rule of law…a pair of totally Jive Turkeys, I am so sick of them and their right wing corporate ass kissing!

  12. anonymous wrote: “Where we sit, we are far removed from the impact, so we see it as wrong. But is it???”

    Yes. It’s wrong. It’s that simple.

  13. What has always struck me is how important the right to torture was to these people. They really, really liked it. And they built this huge program in which every single person they scooped up in their “illegal combatant” dragnet was routinely tortured. It’s not just criminal, it’s weird.

    I’ve heard it opined that the size and scope of the “extaordinary rendition” (kidnapping) and torture regime was large enough and systematic enough to qualify not just as a set of war crimes but as a crime against humanity.

    Not that it matters much.

    And I agree totally with the assemssment of Obama,Holder et al. What a disappointment this administration has been in so many areas.

  14. Anon Nurse, I’m not saying torture is right, but then what is the effective and humane approach to gleaning valuable information in these cases? What would you personally do if you were interogating these suspects and your family’s life and/or other’s were on the line?

  15. Anonymous,
    Torture is not only illegal, it does not produce credible intelligence. Can you understand that? However, even it did, it is Illegal! There is absolutely no evidence that torture worked for the Bush felons. They continue to herald the torture so that people become desensitized to the crime. If torture was so effective, point to one credible incident that was prevented by waterboarding one individual over 100 times in a month! Obama and Holder are trying to sweep the torture under the rug because it would create a political firestorm if the law was actually followed and Bush/Cheney et al were prosecuted.

  16. Perhaps Obama and friends are not just ignoring the torture we know about but are instead, refusing to take the legal route for fear of making public horrors we have not even imagined … things that they think would stun the world’s population and destabilize our government.

    I’m just sayin’ that it’s possible there is more to this than just keeping Bush and Cheney out of prison.

    Shoot … I’m becoming a conspiracy theorist ….

  17. Blouise I think you are correct in your thinking and I would also add that they are afraid of a partisan war which does not make any sense because they can’t manage to get more than three republican votes if that on anything.

  18. Blouise, horrors we haven’t even heard of and that may well be going on as we type. How many people were just outright tortured to death , how many family members of the POW’s were rounded up and abused as leverage? You’re right, it could be anything that is being concealed.

  19. Blouise

    I think there’s something to what you say. Just think of the impact of a former VP and President both charged with who knows what?

    And even if it’s just what we think we already know, Congress can hardly get anything done already, let alone starting such a gut-wrenching series of special investigations, grand jury seating, indictments, and trial. The mind boggles at how many years and how much money would be involved.

    It’s not like we haven’t enough problems to contend with without adding more right now. They aren’t going anywhere. I’m pretty sure there are people at DOJ that have been working on this for years already. I’d rather not see anything done than to not have an air-tight case presented with absolutely certain documentation.

    Certainly I wouldn’t expect anything before the mid-term elections and maybe nothing until after the 2012 elections. If nothing is done then, the defendants will just keep piling up like cordwood.

  20. I’m going to repeat something I wrote a long time ago on another thread on this blog.

    Ford was wrong when he pardoned Nixon under the guise that the country wouldn’t be able to handle another 4 years of trials, juries, and verdicts … that the country had to move on … that he, as President, had to tackle so many other things for the good of the nation.

    He set a precedent that Obama has happily followed.

    I know these leaders like to think that we are a nation of weaklings, unable to bear the burden of trials, testimonies, and secrets made public … that we lack the sophistication to understand the big picture or the strength to handle the backlash.

    And I know why they think so poorly of us … after all, we were dumb enough to elect them!

  21. Blouise,
    You are really on track tonight. I have never forgiven Ford for pardoning Nixon. The only way the country could heal after Watergate was for all of the facts to come out and for Nixon to practice his Perp walk. I don’t know if that is why Obama is not going after the truth, but it was a bad precedent.

  22. Prof. Turley, why not one word so far on Supremes’ having turned Miranda upside down this week???

  23. Anonymous.

    In response to your question about a humane method of getting information from these people, I suggest you do a little research on Michel Thomas, AKA The Language Master.

    After fighting for the French Resistance in WW2 and shortly after D-Day, he offered is services to the allied intelligence corps who were having problems getting information from captured German officers. His success rate using nothing more than a room and 2 chairs was phenominal. He never layed a finger on any one of them – he just sat and talked with them.

    Thomas later went on to achieve a certain amount of fame amongst post war Hollywood A-Listers, when it became fahionable to have second homes in Europe. He was teaching basic conversational languages in 2 week crash courses.

  24. I read this headline off of Google News and I got all excited.

    Texas man charged with trying to help Al-Qaeda

    Then I read the story are realized it wasn’t their recruiting tool in chief, W.

  25. I was wondering about that too Rockola. Sotomayor wrote the dissent. She is a former prosecutor.

  26. Rockola

    Prof. Turley, why not one word so far on Supremes’ having turned Miranda upside down this week???

    ================================================================
    Thus far everything I’ve read on the matter goes something like this:

    “A Michigan man will continue serving a life sentence for murder after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that he gave up his rights against self-incrimination because he did not explicitly tell police he wanted to remain silent after his arrest.

    “In a dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor said the decision “turns Miranda upside down.” It’s counterintuitive, she said, to require a suspect to speak in order to exercise the right to remain silent.”
    (From The Detroit News)

    So what, Prof, does this mean? Do we have to declare our constitutional rights out loud in order to claim them?

  27. Truly hypothetical. Would a Republican administration swept this under the rug had water-boarding occurred during a Democratic regime?

  28. I was dreaming of Cheney and Bush in the dock in The Hague. Maybe like Milosevic, Cheney would conduct his own defense. He’s arrogant enough to think he could do it. I knew it wouldn’t happen but it was fun to think about. Seriously, Obama really screwed the pooch when he took the “that was then, this is now” approach to the torture that went on in the Bush Admin.

    You notice that the dude who tried to blow up Times Square didn’t need no water boarding.

    Speaking of Miranda, do you think American citizens are entitled to being “Mirandized” when they arrested if they are accused of “terrorist acts”? I do, it seems pretty simple to me and I don’t get why the right gets so bent out of shape by this.

  29. Nothing is going to come of this. Bush could tell the world that he shot the sheriff and the in the current administration would do nothing.

  30. Isabela, like you, I had me a beautiful dream. I was standin’ at the center of a waterboardin’ wheel and they wuz the father, the son, and the holey ghost—in the human form of Cheney, Bush, and Rove—all laid out like spokes of a wagon wheel with thez heads inclined towarts my feet. I wuz surrounded by buckets of water n’ I had a farr hose at my disposal hooked to the nearest 1,000 gallon per minute farr hydrant.

    Because I wuz POTUS, I gots to waterboard that sick trio to my li’l dark heart’s content. I’ll give y’all one guess as to whether or not I stopped waterboardin’ after each of them 3 fools confessed before the presence of thez all-mitty He-gawd that they wuz despicable, pathetic war criminals…

    Gabrill blow yer horn, St. Peter open them purly gates..
    .
    Unfortunately, hit was all

  31. Oh, n’ will I wuz waterboardin’ I had this song playin’ in the background for encouragement.

    GO LEO, GO!

  32. Beyond any shadow of a doubt, something is going on domestically. And it’s awful stuff. But, to date, no one is talking.

  33. “I’m just sayin’ that it’s possible there is more to this than just keeping Bush and Cheney out of prison.”

    Blouise:

    In my mind, if that is indeed Obama and Holder’s logic, it makes not prosecuting those responsible in the Bush Admin even more shameful. That’s like saying that the Nazi’s only killed a “few Jews, Russians, etc.” – had the full scope of Nazi atrocities not been known, would the world community have been as inclined to take steps to ensure that those responsible for future atrocities be held accountable?

    Besides, I think it would go a long way in showing those who mistakenly believe that torture is effective that it really istn’, and there really are reasons it’s illegal.

  34. Carterbo “Truly hypothetical. Would a Republican administration swept this under the rug had water-boarding occurred during a Democratic regime?”

    —–

    No.

    Torture is part of the ‘package deal’ of new powers (that limit Constitutional rights) consolidated under the “Unitary Executive” doctrine put in place by Bush/Cheney post 9-11.

    As I wrote on this blawg after Obama was elected, we’ll never get those rights given back to us, power does not give itself up; once taken, it must be taken back.

  35. So George W. Bush CONFESSED IN PUBLIC TO WAR CRIMES. WHY isn’t he being perp-walked, in cuffs, to a plane waiting at the DFW airport that will fly him DIRECTLY to the Hague for his WAR CRIMES TRIALS??

    WHY Mr. OBAMA… IS ADMITTING TO COMMISSION OF WAR CRIMES IN PUBLIC NOT ENOUGH???

  36. ‘Splain me this. I’ve heard a report that there is no tape or recording of this. A crowd of 2300 and there were no recording devices? Not even the Economic Club of Grand Rapids recorded a former President’s speech and answers to questions after? Wass up?

  37. There was a former JAG brigadier general on TV last night who said that Bush had done a terrible disservice to our own troops by encouraging and praising torture: the enemy would feel entitled to torture our own troops. This is a military guy, not some left wing hand wringing pussy.

    Also, there was a former interrogator who said that most of the Iraqi
    “insurgants” he interrogated in Iraq were motivated by Abu Ghraib and waterboarding to fight the Americans. When we lose our values . . .

  38. No American official will ever be charged in the USA with a war crime under internaational law, although he or she might be charged under civil law or military law. The alleged perpetrator could also be charged (theoretically) under internatioal law in a country that claims universal jurisdiction like Spain or the Netherlands. It’s just the way it is.

    The US military has a contingency plan for taking military action to free any high level US official who is arrested and held by the IJC or anywhere else.

    Just one more example of “American exceptionalism.”

  39. Blouise
    1, June 3, 2010 at 9:16 pm
    “Perhaps Obama and friends are not just ignoring the torture we know about but are instead, refusing to take the legal route for fear of making public horrors we have not even imagined … things that they think would stun the world’s population and destabilize our government.”

    I think this is correct. Obama advocated releasing everything while running for President. I think after getting elected and having the opportunity to veiw the more shocking (more shocking!) photos and even videos according to Hersh, Obama said “Holy Shit!” and decided to bury it out of fear for the political and foreign policy ramifications.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/06/25/070625fa_fact_hersh
    “It’s not when they saw the photographs,” Hersh stresses. “It’s when they learned how serious it was. They were told in memos what the photographs showed… They showed other, more sexual abuse than we knew, sodomy of women prisons by American soldiers, a father and his son forced to do acts together. There was more stuff [than] was made public. You didn’t need a photograph if you had a verbal description of it.

  40. Ponder this for a second, A video of a muslim woman being sodomized by a G.I. or a muslim father being forced to molest his own son! What would be the fallout from that? Holy shit! is right.

  41. You guys are so full of dookie.

    I guess it would be just another broken campaign promise by Obama. The man is a joke and you just talk about Bush.

    The New Yorker? You believe these idiots? This blog population is as dumb as I thought it was.

    No proof and you guys put it all in.

    Then you ignore the Obama unconstitutionalities, which were again unreported today. The man is embarrassing.

    Bush is already vindicated. You guys are light years behind the times, but you’ll never admit it.

  42. “Palamas,

    Did you enjoy the wedding?”

    —————————————-

    Blouise:

    LOL – I hear he was especially thrilled with Elton John’s performance …

  43. Last I heard EJ gets 1 – 2 mil$ for a private performance and the money goes to an AID’s related charity. Thank’s Rush, you … well, nevermind the last, I’d be doing a slander to slugs everywhere :-)

  44. vlf2112 and lottakatz,

    My invitation must have been lost in the mail … hopefully I’ll be able to get to wedding #5.

  45. I’m buying tickets for the whole season.

    They are for sale like everything else in Rush’s life, right?

  46. Blouise:

    BIL’s got the right idea – “season tickets.” I’m sure this won’t be the last of El Rushbo’s trips down the aisle.

    Keep checking your mailbox!

  47. George Bush Book ‘Decision Points’ Lifted From Advisers’ Books
    First Posted: 11-12-10 01:48 PM | Updated: 11-12-10 04:17 PM

    by Ryan Grim

    (Better to see the following two paragraphs in the original article — it’s easier to compare time, as key portions are highlighted.)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/12/george-bush-book-decision-points_n_782731.html#s180908

    Excerpt:

    Bush writes: “Tommy told the national security team that he was working to apply the same concept of a light footprint to Iraq… ‘If we have multiple, highly skilled Special Operations forces identifying targets for precision-guided munitions, we will need fewer conventional grounds forces,’ he said. ‘That’s an important lesson learned from Afghanistan.’ I had a lot of concerns. … I asked the team to keep working on the plan. ‘We should remain optimistic that diplomacy and international pressure will succeed in disarming the regime,’ I said at the end of the meeting. ‘But we cannot allow weapons of mass destruction to fall into the hands of terrorists. I will not allow that to happen.'”

    Franks, in his memoir American Soldier, writes: “‘For example, if we have multiple, highly skilled Special Operations forces identifying targets for precision-guided munitions, we will need fewer conventional ground forces. That’s an important lesson learned from Afghanistan.’ President Bush’s questions continued throughout the briefing…. Before the VTC ended, President Bush addressed us all. ‘We should remain optimistic that diplomacy and international pressure will succeed in disarming the regime.’ … The President paused. ‘Protecting the security of the United States is my responsibility,’ he continued. ‘But we cannot allow weapons of mass destruction to fall into the hands of terrorists.’ He shook his head. ‘I will not allow that to happen.'”

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