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Bush: "This government does not torture people"
Oct-5-07 04:12 pm

In response to allegations about previously-undisclosed OLC memoranda about interrogation techniques, President Bush made the following comments  earlier today:

I want to say something else. There's been a lot of talk in the newspapers and on TV about a program that I put in motion to detain and question terrorists and extremists. I have put this program in place for a reason, and that is to better protect the American people. And when we find somebody who may have information regarding an -- a potential attack on America, you bet we're going to detain them, and you bet we're going to question them -- because the American people expect us to find out information -- actionable intelligence so we can help protect them. That's our job.

Secondly, this government does not torture people. You know, we stick to U.S. law and our international obligations.

Thirdly, there are highly trained professionals questioning these extremists and terrorists. In other words, we got professionals who are trained in this kind of work to get information that will protect the American people. And by the way, we have gotten information from these high-value detainees that have helped protect you.

And finally, the techniques that we use have been fully disclosed to appropriate members of the United States Congress. The American people expect their government to take action to protect them from further attack. And that's exactly what this government is doing, and that's exactly what we'll continue to do.

While I do not know precisely what techniques have been used, based on what has been reported on this blog (and, of course, these many posts over at Balkinization) and the views of people like Jack Goldsmith, who were aware of the techniques, I find it difficult to say that "this government does not torture" people. Remember what waterboarding looks like:

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About the editor:

Anthony Clark Arend

Professor

Commentary and analysis at the intersection of international law and politics.

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» Learn more about the M.A. in International Law and Government at Georgetown University.


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