Is Bush’s Claim that “We Do Not Torture” Believable?


Not when your Vice President is seeking to exempt important organs of the U.S. government from the McCain provision that would ban any agent of U.S. interests from subjecting detainees under its control to “torture or inhuman treatment.”
Reuters reports that Bush defended these exemptions with an assertion that we are bringing terrorists to justice in accordance with American law.
Bush seems to think that his personal assessment about what is within the interests of the United States should be good enough for the citizens of the United States. The problem is that the American public doubts the Bush team’s truthfulness — particularly after the lies and mistruths that Scooter Libby and Karl Rove offered to colleagues like Scott McClellan, Special Counsel Patrick Fitzgerald, and the American public in the Valerie Plame outing case.
From the Reuters report:

The United States will do what it takes to protect itself but “we do not torture,” President Bush said on Monday in response to criticism of reported secret CIA prisons and the handling of terrorism suspects.
Bush defended his administration’s efforts to stop the U.S. Congress from imposing rules on the handling of terrorism suspects.
He did not confirm or deny the existence of CIA secret prisons that The Washington Post disclosed last week and would not address demands by the International Committee of the Red Cross to have access to the suspects reportedly held at them.
“We are finding terrorists and bringing them to justice,” Bush said at a news conference with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos. “We are gathering information about where the terrorists might be hiding. We are trying to disrupt their plots and plans. Anything we do … to that end in this effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law.”
Vice President Dick Cheney has been spearheading an effort on Capitol Hill to have the CIA exempt from an amendment by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain that would ban torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners.

More soon on Ahmad Chalabi. I wonder how many individuals on Chalabi’s enemies list were tortured and/or inhumanely treated by American authorities or their agents.
— Steve Clemons