Bush’s “I Am Not A Crook” Moment?

Ken AshfordWar on Terrorism/TortureLeave a Comment

President Bush, today:

"There’s an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again. So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law. We do not torture."

What does he mean by that?

We obviously DO torture.  Abu Ghraib was the tip of the iceburg.  The servicemember in Iraq know the score:

"I think our policies required abuse. There were freaking horrible things people were doing. I saw [detainees] who had feet smashed with hammers. One detainee told me he had been forced by Marines to sit on an exhaust pipe, and he had a softball-sized blister to prove it. The stuff I did was mainly torture lite: sleep deprivation, isolation, stress positions, hypothermia. We used dogs."

And what about setting up a series of secret CIA detention camps where "waterboarding" is permitted?  Does Bush believe and will he state categorically that no torture has ever occurred at those camps?

The comment suggests one of several possibilities:

(1)  The Commander-in-Chief is severely isolated and out of the loop as to what is actually going on under his command;

(2)  Bush’s idea of "torture" is different from that of everybody else, including the Geneva Convention;

(3)  Bush is simply lying, and still thinking that the power of his words carries weight and credibility;

(4)  Bush is engaged in some form of clinical denial.

Either way, it is quite unsettling.

But fine.  If Bush believes we don’t do torture, what possible reason could he give to NOT do ALL of the following:

(a)  Shutting down the "black sites";

(b)  Allowing the ICRC to visit each and every facility in which we hold prisoners;

(c)  Telling Dick Cheney to stop lobbying against the McCain Amendment?