Saturday, April 12, 2008

BUSH ADMITS HE KNEW HIS AIDES WERE DISCUSSING TORTURE

WASH POST President Bush said Friday that he was aware his top national security advisers had discussed the details of harsh interrogation tactics to be used on detainees. Bush also said in an interview with ABC News that he approved of the meetings, which were held as the CIA began to prepare for a secret interrogation program that included waterboarding, or simulated drowning, and other coercive techniques.

"Well, we started to connect the dots, in order to protect the American people" by learning what various detainees knew, Bush said in the interview at the presidential ranch here. "And yes, I'm aware our national security team met on this issue. And I approved."

The remarks underscore the extent to which the top officials were directly involved in setting the controversial interrogation policies.

Bush suggested in the interview that no one should be surprised that his senior advisers, including Vice President Cheney, would discuss details of the interrogation program. "I told the country we did that," Bush said. "And I also told them it was legal. We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it."

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