The US is refraining from defining waterboarding and other questionable interrogation
methods it used to apply to terrorist suspects as torture, possibly with a view to using them once again someday.
Years after the Bush administration left office, many feel President Obama is not doing enough to make up for America’s past mistakes. This includes torture treatment of terrorist suspects by the US investigators.
Such torture techniques include waterboarding, stress positions and other methods of interrogation welcomed into American secret service after 9/11 paved the way for the War on Terror.
Former US President George W. Bush once soothed the nation that “The American people need to know we’re using techniques within the law to protect them.”
Two years after George W. Bush left the White House, the former commander-in-chief admitted his stamp of approval for the use of interrogation techniques like waterboarding, dubbed inhuman and illegal under US law and the Geneva Conventions.
Why did George W. Bush consider waterboarding legal?
“Because the lawyer said it was legal,” Bush declared, specifying he was told that waterboarding did not fall within the anti-torture act.
“I’m not a lawyer. But you’re going to trust the judgment of those around you, and I do,” George W. Bush said.
The Bush administration also chose to disregard the judgment of a top advisor who warned that the CIA’s interrogation of terror suspects equated to felony war crimes.
According to a secret memo obtained by Wired magazine, in a memo dated February 15, 2006 State Department counselor Philip Zelikow warned the White House that controversial interrogation techniques such as water boarding, stress positions and cramped confinement are prohibited under US law.
“Under American law, there is no precedent for excusing treatment that is intrinsically ‘cruel’ even if the state asserts compelling need to use it,” the memo said.
“I think there needs to be an accounting in the United States of what was done over the past 10 years, in the name of Americans,” argues Peter Van Buren, a former Foreign Service officer with the State Department.