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article imageAmnesty International urges Bush probe over torture 'admission'

By Andrew Moran     Nov 10, 2010 in World
London - The London-based human rights organization, Amnesty International, is calling on the United States government to launch a criminal investigation into former President George W. Bush over his admission of authorizing torture methods.
During an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, they discussed Pres. Bush’s memoir “Decision Points.” The conversation drifted towards Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the legality of enhanced interrogation techniques.
“One of the high-valued al-Qaeda operatives was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, chief operating officer for al-Qaeda who ordered the attacks on 9/11,” said the former President. “They say he has information and I said, ‘Find out what he knows.’ So I said to our team, ‘Are the techniques legal?’ and the legal team said, ‘Yes they are.’”
Lauer then interrupted Bush and asked: “Why is water-boarding legal, in your opinion? Bush responded: “Because the lawyers said it was legal. They said it did not fall within the anti-torture act. I’m not a lawyer and you have to trust the judgment of the people around you.”
On Wednesday, Amnesty International issued a press release urging the U.S. government to establish a criminal investigation into the Bush administration’s involvement in enhanced interrogation techniques that were used against detainees.
Amnesty International
Amnesty International
“Under international law, the former President's admission to having authorized acts that amount to torture are enough to trigger the USA's obligations to investigate his admissions and if substantiated, to prosecute him,” said Senior Direct at Amnesty International, Claudio Cordone. “His admissions also highlight once again the absence of accountability for the crimes under international law of torture and enforced disappearance committed by the USA.”
Amnesty also said in the release that Bush cited in his book of two cases of detainees held in the “secret program;” Abu Zubaydah and Mohammed. In Aug. 2002, Zubaydah was water-boarded and in Mar. 2003, Mohammed was reportedly water-boarded 183 times.
Water-boarding was not the only method used in these enhanced interrogation techniques. Physical assaults, stress positions, nudity, threats, lack of sleep and exposure to extremely cold temperatures were also used during detainment.
“Under international law, anyone involved in torture must be brought to justice, and that does not exclude former President George W. Bush. If his admission is substantiated, the USA has the obligation to prosecute him,” said Cordone. “In the absence of a US investigation, other states must step in and carry out such an investigation themselves.”
More about Amnesty international, George bush, Torture
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