"Having a CIA program for questioning terrorists will continue to be crucial to getting lifesaving information," he said.
Bush's statement is the first official acknowledgment of the camps. Revelation of their existence last year by The Washington Post had created tensions with complicit governments that, publicly, had denied their existence. The president said simply that "a small number of terrorist suspects" had been held and questioned outside the United States in a "special program" by the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA camps were believed to be in East Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and to have accommodated anywhere from scores of people to 1,000 or more at some point. Bush said that he could not divulge the camps' location or any other details, to avoid retribution against U.S. allies.
Also Wednesday, in a decisive retreat from practices made infamous by the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, the U.S. Army explicitly banned several interrogation techniques and required all members of the military to observe, "at a minimum," the code set out in the Geneva conventions to protect suspects.
A new U.S. Army manual released Wednesday, which had been withheld for more than a year amid criticism of the Defense Department's treatment of prisoners, explicitly bans eight interrogation techniques: forced nudity or sexual acts, use of hoods or duct tape; beatings; electric shock; the simulated drowning known as "waterboarding," heat or temperature distress; withholding food or water; mock executions; and the use of dogs for intimidation, but not for maintaining security.
We have the President of the United States publicly admitting that he has committed heinous crimes against nature, our armed forces admitting that they specifically encourage torture until yesterday when they the approved the new manuals-thus being directly responsible for the abuses of Abu Ghraib. And this is supposed to make it all right? We are supposed to condone war crimes? We are supposed to trust President Bush or his party?
I ask again: Is Karl Rove desperate, crazy or a genius? Is there no shame left in this country? Bush's people obviously think that by distracting us from their failings in Iraq and Katrina, they'll not get slaughtered in the upcoming elections. I pray for the sake of humanity they are not correct.