Bush, via Michael Hayden: “Ok, we used waterboarding! Look on the BRIGHT side, people!”:
U.S. President George W. Bush authorized the CIA to give its most detailed public account of its use of a widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding, the White House said on Wednesday.
CIA Director Michael Hayden testified before Congress on Tuesday that government interrogators used waterboarding, often described as simulated drowning, on three suspects captured after the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001.
Hayden’s admission, the first time a U.S. official publicly disclosed the number of people subjected to waterboarding and named them, drew calls for a criminal investigation. Critics worldwide condemn waterboarding as torture, but the Bush administration has refused to define it as such.
“The president authorized Gen. Hayden to say what he said in the testimony yesterday,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto told reporters.
Bush’s decision to allow testimony on waterboarding, a major shift from his policy of keeping it under wraps, was prompted by heated public debate and a consensus in the administration on the need “to be very clear about how those techniques were used and what the benefits were,” Fratto said. (emphasis mine)
If whether or not there were “benefits” to waterboarding was the issue, then the discussion would be about alternate techniques. No one out there is criticizing waterboarding because pulling out fingernails is more effective, or because it wastes water, the entire point is whether or not a nation that does that kind of shit is throwing away what they claim to be protecting by doing it. So far, no one believes that it’s an acceptable tactic besides the talking head types that would gladly torture anyone to the left of Attila the Hun. For them to use this strategy to defend it sounds like the old saying that particularly dumb children would share with each other when arguing about drinking household cleaners: “How do ya know it’s bad, you never tried it!”.