Al Jazeera: Bush confesses to torturing prisoners

Khalid Shaykh Muhammad is accused of being the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks.

The Washington Post reported that former American President, George Bush, confessed in his memoir that he gave permission to members from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to use waterboarding in the interrogation of Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, a Pakistani who was accused of being the mastermind of the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Human rights experts told the paper that Bush’s confessions regarding his authorization of torture, made in his upcoming memoir that will be released next week, opened up the possibility of him being prosecuted, in principle, despite the small chance of that happening.

The Washington Post added that in his memoir, Bush confessed that he personally authorized the use of different torture methods and techniques against Khalid Shaykh Muhammad, and he was prepared to take the same measures against other detainees to save American lives.

The paper claimed that an unnamed individual close to Bush mentioned that he read the book and said that Bush said “Yes” to members of the Central Intelligence Agency when they asked him if they were able to use waterboarding in the interrogation of Khalid Shaykh Muhammad.

Saving Americans

The paper explained that Bush, in his book “Decision Points”, said that Khalid Shaykh [Muhammad], who was accused of planning the attacks on 9/11, possessed a lot of critical information regarding terrorist attacks against the United States that were still in the planning stages.

America’s [current] president, Barack Obama, along with Attorney General Eric Holder, have already described the technique [of waterboarding] that Bush’s administration introduced during the “War on Terror” as a torture technique.

Feelings of drowning

The torture technique of waterboarding is done by continuously pouring water over the mouth and nose of those being tortured, while they are shackled with their head covered with a wet rag, pointed towards the floor, and they feel as if they are drowning, moment by moment.

In the same book, the former American president starts off his memoir talking about his personal problems with alcohol abuse and addiction during his younger days, before he was “born again” and began following the teachings of “the savior” as taught by the evangelist church when he was around 40 years old.

Despite Bush’s insistence that he had recovered from his addictions, rumors continued to hound him even after he took the helm of the presidency, indicating that the man in the White House might have truly broke with his old addiction. What is certainly true though is that Bush never lost the “language” of addiction, such as when he described the United States, in one of his famous speeches as president, as “a nation addicted to oil.”


Back in business.

Courtesy of my part-time employer, I will be attending an Arabic class for the next month. I’ve also left my job to sell everything and move out with my wife to Monterey, CA. If all goes well I should be out there for the next few years of my life attending college. After that, who knows? As much as leaving Augusta will be an exciting thing, leaving behind my good friends and family is hard and sad. I feel like I’ve made some of the best friends here, some of whom I’ve been with since the start of my time in the Air Force five years ago. I’ve also enjoyed the security of a certain profession for a while, and walking away from that, even with all my gripes about it, is still a scary prospect. How do I know I’m doing the right thing? Should I have stuck with it longer? Was I too demanding of what I expect out of it? I don’t know the answers at all, and the questions certainly give me pause in the quieter hours of the day.

That said, I cling to the hope that my gamble will pay off, if not financially and career-wise, then at least in the quality of life I live. I’ve become more and more bitter and cynical through my experiences with the Air Force, and I just don’t want that to continue. The ability to mentally separate work from my “real” life is not one I seem to have been given, and my “real” life suffers for it when work isn’t going well. Getting out in the wilderness to go climbing or hiking seems to be one of the few ways to recharge and lighten my load, and I haven’t been able to do that here in Augusta nearly as much as I’ve needed.

So here is to stepping off into the unknown.

Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed. Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled. -Hebrews 12:12-15