Speaking to the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, MI, on Wednesday, Bush said:
Yeah, we water-boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. I'd do it again to save lives.There's no reason to doubt the sincerity of the first part of that declaration - Bush's willingness to torture more people - but the pious justification of the dependent clause doesn't hold up.
A group of retired U.S. admirals and generals working with Human Rights First to educate members of Congress and candidates on the importance to national security of treating detainees lawfully and humanely released this statement in response:
Waterboarding is torture and torture is a crime. It cannot be demonstrated that any use of it by U.S. personnel in recent years has saved a single American life. To the contrary, the misguided belief that torture saves lives has cost America dearly. It is shocking that former President George W. Bush said he would use waterboarding 'again to save lives.' When he authorized it the first time he sent America down the wrong road, battering our alliances, damaging counterinsurgency efforts, and increasing threats to our soldiers.Bush still thinks the war against Iraq was a good idea, too, because, "getting rid of Saddam Hussein was the right thing to do and the world is a better place without him."
And, despite Laura Bush's famous comment regarding watching TV coverage of the war that, "no one suffers more than their president and I do when we watch this, and certainly the commander in chief, who has asked our military to go into harm's way," it turns out that her husband found his father's loss of the Presidency much harder. Said Bush of that traumatic episode in his life:
Being a son of the president is a lot harder than being president.Because, I guess, the son of the president doesn't get to torture or kill anybody when his self-respect needs a little pumping up.
Bush does have one regret - not being able to snatch Social Security away from the elderly and disabled. Being unable to push Social Security reform through Congress was "his greatest disappointment" as President.
Excuse me while I go brush the vomit out of my teeth.
Thanks to Scott Madin for the tip.