Friday, September 15, 2006


Watch this if you have the stomach for it. Bush throws a hissy fit when challenged by reporter David Gregory over his bill which would "clarify" Article 3 of the Geneva Convention. It's another truly stunning performance by an increasingly unhinged man-child.

Though this earlier interview with Matt Lauer certainly is another strong entry in "Bush's Craziest Home Videos." In it, Bush practically jabs Lauer in the chest as Lauer presses him about the "legality" of water-boarding (follow the link to watch - it's worth it):
Matt Lauer: And yet you admitted that there were these CIA secret facilities. OK?

President Bush: So what? Why is that not within the law?

Matt Lauer: The head of Amnesty International says secret sites are against international law.

President Bush: Well, we just disagree with him. Plus, my job is to protect you. And most American people, if I said [to them] that we had who we think is the mastermind of the 9/11, they would say, “Why don’t you see if you can’t get information without torturing him,” which is what we did.

Matt Lauer: I don’t want to let this “within the law issue” slip though. I mean, if, in fact, there was water boarding used with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and for the viewers, that’s basically when you strap someone to a board and you make them feel as if they’re going to drown by putting them underwater, if that was legal and within the law, why couldn’t you do it at Guantanamo? Why did you have to go to a secret location around the world?

President Bush: I’m not going to talk about techniques. And, I’m not going explain to the enemy what we’re doing. All I’m telling you is that you’ve asked me whether or not we’re doing things to protect the American people, and I want the American people to know we are doing so.
Bush is fond of using terms like "techniques" and "alternative set of techniques" to describe the interrogation practices that he wants to legalize. That's typical of torturers:
"Torture develops its own sardonic slang through which to further distance the torturer from the effects of his actions. The parrot.. suspension head down from a broom-handle suspended between two chairs; the telephone...blows with the palms of the hands to both ears at once; the bath..a euphemism for holding the victim's head under water filled with excrement and vomit..
You know, like "waterboarding":
The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt. According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in.
(before anyone rushes in with a "ticking time bomb scenario" and how useful a 14 second confession might be, here's a reminder that such confessions are notoriously unreliable)

Since it's tough to hear in the video, here's the question from David Gregory that set Bush off:
If a CIA officer, paramilitary or special operations soldier from the United States were captured in Iran or North Korea and they were roughed up and those governments said, "Well, they were interrogated in accordance with our interpretation of the Geneva Conventions," and then they were put on trial and they were convicted based on secret evidence that they were not able to see, how would you react to that as commander in chief?
Bush's reaction? Well, watch the video for the full effect. But he either doesn't understand the potential implications of his own program for captured American soldiers, or he doesn't care. Either way, he wants what he wants, and damn the consequences.

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