If Ever You Doubted Water-Boarding KSM Was a Bad Decision…

George Bush is on the rubber chicken circuit in anticipation of the release of his book, A’m the Deciderer Decision Points. Which means he’s now out in public defending two of his “greatest” decisions, side-by-side:

George Bush admitted yesterday that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, was waterboarded by the US, and said he would do it again “to save lives”.

“Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,” the former president told a business audience in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I’d do it again to save lives.”


In his speech, Bush also defended the decision to go to war with Iraq in 2003. He said ousting Saddam Hussein “was the right thing to do and the world is a better place without him”.

Of course, Bush has absolutely zero proof that waterboarding KSM saved lives. Just as he can’t be sure that the world is better without Saddam, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis (and almost 5,000 American servicemen and women), with the US deep in debt, and the seeds of the same kind of abusive government–this one with close ties to Iran–in place in Iraq.

But the really telling bit about this news is that it puts the decision to waterboard KSM right there next to the decision to launch a war of choice rather than focus on beating the terrorists who attacked us. That is, it puts Bush’s decision to embrace torture right there next to what many consider one of the biggest foreign policy mistakes in history.

22 replies
  1. ghostof911 says:

    BP execs met with the Dick Cheney’s Energy Task Force in 2001. There is no doubt that the blueprint for the invasion of Iraq was laid out by the task force. What is unknown is how much detail of the “pretext” for the war was also presented.

    BP execs need to come clean with what they know about all of this.

  2. TarheelDem says:

    He talks like a man who believes that he has gotten away with it scot free. And by all indications right now he has. But his direct confession might be evidence some day, some place, somehow.

  3. Leen says:

    ““Yeah, we waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,” the former president told a business audience in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “I’d do it again to save lives.”

    And those in control of this show know that many Americans who believe that they are better, smarter and just more worth it than any one else on this planet will agree with them. International agreements…are for the weak you know.

    • onitgoes says:

      Well good luck with that. I like your logic and all, but of course, these days in this Yew Ess Aay, we’re not being dictated by stupid logic.

      Recall that our present dear leader has been the Decider to only look forward, never backward. The execution of Tojo, for example, is very bad because of its, uh, backwardness…. yeah, that’s the ticket: we certainly don’t want to be backward, now do we??

      And I agree that it would be fantastic to get BP on the hot seat confessing the set up of the War in Iraq in order to enrich their coffers, but I won’t hold my breath. Yet another example of teh dreaded backwardness. Can’t have that!

      That the Shrub is running around crowing about how, ugh, “manly” he was is unsurprising. Someone wrote some tome for the Shrub in order to “explain” (aka, spin) the criminal deeds done under his “watch.” And so: on it goes…

    • thatvisionthing says:

      Oh yeah, THAT precedent!

      [Substitute appropriately], Harry Truman wrote the script:

      I realize the tragic significance of the atomic bomb. Having found the bomb we have used it. We have used it against those who attacked us without warning at [___], against those who have starved and beaten and executed [___] prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretense of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young [___]…


      (sound clip in BBC youtube Atomic bombing of Nagasaki.)

  4. thatvisionthing says:

    Big talk!

    A couple of thoughts re reason and responsibility, correlating two comments I left before.
    1) Earlier I suggested that Obama should hold a town hall in Guantanamo and Bagram with ALL the detainees and NO restrictions on what they can say or what we can hear. Open mike, open feed, court of public opinion. I am sick of dumb wars, and they all look dumb to me. So I want to get to the reasons and the man behind the curtain that we’re not supposed to pay any attention to, instead of the disembodied uberhead, whether it’s a president or a terrorist. Now I want to call on George Bush to debate Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. And I still say, Helen Thomas should moderate.

    2) Nice that George should admit waterboarding now. Is he going to now step up and finally take responsibility for the orders given at Abu Ghraib, so that the “bad apples” will not be the only ones facing “justice”? I’m remembering how angry Janis Karpinski was at Cheney wondering where the hell he was at when he let her and her soldiers take all the false blame.


    And if it was okay Mr. Former Vice President, if you’re saying that this was necessary today and that it produced good intelligence..where were you five years ago stepping up to the plate and saying hold on, we can’t discuss this because this is classified information, but these soldiers did not design these techniques? Where were all of those heroes then to step up to the plate and defend these soldiers and to defend me?

    I read Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s CSRT testimony (ACLU PDF), and Cheney’s takeaway to the MSM when it was released was, look, see KSM confessed to all these plots, torture worked! But what I came away with was the sense that KSM had confessed to everything, took responsibility for everything his captors could think of, a laundry list so ridiculously long that it included even things he plainly could not have done, as a way to “own” his cause and also in an effort to protect other prisoners at Guantanamo who did not deserve to be there, weren’t Al Qaeda, weren’t Taliban. The buck for everything stopped with him, be fair to the others. He didn’t break down, he stood up. How absolutely not Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld…BP…

    Our whole response to 9/11 is predicated on the presumption that Al Qaeda had no justification, that they hit us first. Helen Thomas tries to ask why do they want to harm us and gets shut down. And she’s the only one asking.

  5. bluewombat says:

    Is a tour schedule available? I’m sure many people would like to give him the unique and distinctive welcome to which a figure of his rank and personage is richly entitled.

  6. tjbs says:

    The Torture / Murder / Treason road show begins.

    Then he’ll explain how he knew he knew everything to know before those 108 human being lives were snuffed out. (Yes, they made snuff films too, like real manly men) They were high value targets until they were dead, taking with them plots unknown.

  7. spiny says:

    So Marcy, does this speech mean that the statue of limitations has now run out and Bush is immune from prosecution? Or just that he has received enough assurances from the Obama/Holder justice department that he feels comfortable admitting his crimes?

  8. timbo says:

    Basically, Bush is telling the world “Hey, I’m untouchable.” That’s what this is about. I always suspected that he and/or other senior administration officials actually watched or participated in some of the torture sessions. Whether or not that’s true, Bush is a thug. And he is getting away with it. It’s very scary to think that there are actually people above the law now. In otherwords, they are outside of its jurisdiction. Again, this is what tyranny looks like, up-close and personal. There are people who wield so much power that the law cannot touch them. Does it make you feel safer? Not me…

  9. alinaustex says:

    And as we all cringe at Dubya’s duplicity be aware that our current Governor “BP’s gusher was an act of God ” Perry is actively considering running for President 2012
    My wife calls this right wing bunch down here the Texas Taleban .
    They took Thomas Jefferson out of the textbooks down here –
    They are still talking up secession .
    Hell yes Perry would waterboard and worse.
    “You want the truth you can’t handle the truth “

  10. stevepatriquin says:

    Thomas Jefferson was not taken out of textbooks. * Black patriots of the early American years were added. Blacks are not taught how much they contributed to our freedom. Now they will be. Water boarding? Oh well. If you are a terrorist, there are consequences. Sorry.

  11. osage says:


    Despite the fact that revisionist Republicans want to conveniently claim that Bush wasn’t a REAL conservative, THEY are, nonetheless, the very people who elected him, enabled his policies and prevented LEGITIMATE regulation from stopping/reducing Bush’s unbridled reckless stupidities.

    The DEMOCRATIC LIBERALS DIDN’T empower, support and protect Bush; the REPUBLICAN CONSERVATIVES DID! And yet THEY are the ones who are trying to blame Democrats for the DESTRUCTION that resulted from REPUBLICAN FAILURES.

    It wasn’t BUSH’S values that irreparably damaged and nearly destroyed the American economy; it was CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN values that irreparably damaged and nearly destroyed the American economy. Still, they would have voters believe that THEY should be TRUSTED to FIX the economy THEY raped and nearly destroyed. Did their VALUES change or is it just the scurrilous depravity of THEIR IMMORAL LIES?

  12. stevepatriquin says:

    Bush was a progressive republican. Obama is a democrat progressive. Both are bad. They spend to much money.

  13. bayofarizona says:

    This only got 20 comments here. Even committed liberals don’t care, why would anybody else?

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