Or so repeated President Bush a mere twelve days ago, after the New York Times reported that on CIA interrogation methods that sound an awful lot like torture.
And so, in today’s press conference, President Bush was asked how he defined torture. The Commander in Chief made a bold statement less than two weeks ago (a statement, I might add, that he has made on a number of previous occasions), and he was asked to defend that statement.
And the President of the United States, the leader of the free world, the most powerful man on the planet… refused to answer the question. He looked a bit caught off guard, and responded that it’s “whatever the law says, and we don’t torture”. The reporter asked the President for his definition of what torture means, and the president ignored the question, called the next reporter, and smiled as if to stifle a laugh. You can read the transcript here, or watch the exchange at CSPAN.org (it’s exactly 43 minutes into the press conference).
So he’s positive that the government does not torture people, just don’t ask him to clarify that statement. Trust the man, he’s just trying to protect us, he would never do anything that crossed any ethical or constitutional lines. He won’t tell you where he thinks those ethical lines are. That’s not his job, he’s not a lawyer! His job is to decide, and he’s decided that we don’t torture, and therefore whatever harsh interrogation methods are being used aren’t torture, so what’s the problem?
Some days, I just can’t believe that this man is actually president.