Bush Aware of Advisers' Interrogation Talks
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of ABC News
Posted: May 8th, 2008
President Bush says he knew his top national security advisers discussed and approved specific details about how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the Central Intelligence Agency, according to an exclusive interview with ABC News. "Well, we started to connect the dots in order to protect the American people," Bush told ABC News White House correspondent Martha Raddatz. "And yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved." As first reported by ABC News, the most senior Bush administration officials repeatedly discussed and approved specific details of exactly how high-value al Qaeda suspects would be interrogated by the CIA. The president had earlier confirmed the existence of the interrogation program run by the CIA in a speech in 2006. But before [ABC's original] report, the extraordinary level of involvement by the most senior advisers in repeatedly approving specific interrogation plans -- down to the number of times the CIA could use a certain tactic on a specific al Qaeda prisoner -- had never been disclosed. Critics at home and abroad have harshly criticized the interrogation program, which pushed the limits of international law and, they say, condoned torture. In the interview with ABC News, Bush defended the waterboarding technique used against KSM. "We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it," Bush said. "And no, I didn't have any problem at all trying to find out what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed knew." The president said, "I think it's very important for the American people to understand who Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was. He was the person who ordered the suicide attack -- I mean, the 9/11 attacks."
Note: For a transcript of the interview with President Bush on the Washington Post website, click here. For a powerful two-page summary of many unanswered questions about who really ordered the 9/11 attacks, click here.