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Terrorism & Security

In interview about 'Decision Points' memoir, Bush stands by waterboarding

In an interview with The Times of London about his memoir 'Decision Points', former President George Bush said that waterboarding, which the British government has deemed torture, saved British lives – a claim some British officials dispute.

By Correspondent / November 9, 2010

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President George Bush authorized the waterboarding of three men during his tenure in office, and claims that doing so saved American and British lives, according to his new memoir and interviews with the British press.

Agence France-Presse reports that in an interview promoting his book, "Decision Points," Mr. Bush told The Times of London that, "Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives."

"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," Bush wrote in his book, "Decision Points."

The ex-commander in chief also said it was "damn right" that he had authorised use of the controversial method on Al-Qaeda's 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Agence France-Presse reported.

The president's memoir renews the controversy over the Bush administration's use of waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates the effect of drowning on the victim, in its "enhanced interrogation" program. Many have labeled the technique torture, which is banned by the Geneva Conventions (to which the US is a signatory).

But British officials dispute Bush's claim that the CIA's use of waterboarding on three men saved lives, reports the Guardian. The Guardian writes that Kim Howells, the former chair of the Commons intelligence and security committee, said in a recent radio interview concerning Bush's claim, " 'We're not convinced' that waterboarding produced information which was 'instrumental in preventing these plots coming to fruition and murdering people.' "


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