George W Bush

Torture Connection: 
The Decider
  • Born July 6, 1946, New Haven, CT. Raised in Midland and Houston, TX.
  • B.A. Yale, 1968.
  • Served in Texas Air National Guard, a Vietnam-era strategem to avoid war duty.
  • Worked on Bush Sr.'s presidential campaign, worked unsuccessfully in oil industry and as part owner of Texas Rangers baseball franchise.
  • Governor of Texas, 1995-2001.
  • President, 2001-2009.

Bush led nation into war, and into torture

As President, Bush oversaw development of the military and intelligence environments in which torture seemed helpful, the legal apparatus by which it was "justified," the legislative framework by which torturers might be immunized, and the public political climate in which everything was denied. Under his leadership, the U.S. abrogated long-standing international treaties, defied the clear intent of legislation, and lied repeatedly to the American people, all in hopes of establishing and perpetuating a culture of torture.

Duplicity, legalisms, secrecy, and power grabs at core of Bush torture regime

Soon after 9/11, Bush signed a secret order establishing CIA "black sites" overseas--secret prisons where the CIA might interrogate prisoners away from oversight by the Red Cross or anyone else. At prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Cuba, Bush authorized a long list of "enhanced" interrogation techniques. He arranged for administration lawyers to sign off on the legality of torturous practices long considered illegal in the U.S. and around the world. He approved a memo stating that the Geneva Conventions would no longer bind the U.S., and when Congress tried to overturn this presumption with clear language to the contrary in the Military Commissions Act, he twisted the law by asserting limitless executive authority to apply legislation however he saw fit. He also sought and obtained congressional approval for retroactive immunity protecting torturers in his administration.

Throughout his presidential terms, Bush insisted publicly that the U.S. did not torture, even as it became obvious to the entire nation that horrendous torture had been inflicted in our name. Documents that became public after he left office have revealed that his involvement in approving lists of specific torture techniques was close and ongoing. But even when administration officials sought to keep the president at a distance from details of the torture regime, it is clear that he approved their actions and believed that torture was a good policy that should be implemented and defended by any means necessary, including lies and false promises.

Sources on George W Bush

Consortium News
Colorado Independent
The Monitor
Consortium News
Global Researc
The Canadian Press
Eurasia Review
Boston Globe
IPS News
Agence France-Presse
Daily Kos
New York Times
Amnesty's Website
The Guardian
American Torture
Washington Post
Washington Post
Washington Post