CRAWFORD, TX - George W. Bush reveals in his memoir, Decision Points, that he personally waterboarded VP Dick Cheney.
The release of former President George W. Bush’s memoir, ‘Decision Points,’ has reignited the debate over his decision to green-light the use of waterboarding on three suspected terrorists, an interrogation technique that has since been banned by current President Barack Obama.
But in a startling revelation, Bush said that on three separate occasions he waterboarded his Vice President, Dick Cheney.
“Dick was so in favor of waterboarding, that I thought he should experience it himself to see what it was like. He thought it was a very effective tool.” Bush went on to say that after waterboarding Cheney as a “test” he used it on two other occasions to get the Vice President to keep his mouth shut on certain issues.
“Dick was making me look bad a few times when he was flapping his big gums to the press. He was too arrogant. So, I had to waterboard him to get him to shut his pie hole.”
Here’s a shot of Bush and the Secret Service waterboarding Cheney:
In the book and during an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer on Monday night, President Bush defends the technique, as leading to intelligence that helped save innocent lives in America and abroad during his time in office.
Bush writes in ‘Decision Points’ that after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Department of Justice and CIA lawyers reviewed a list of legal interrogation techniques and then passed them along for his approval.
“There were two that I felt went too far, even if they were legal. I directed the CIA not to use them. Another technique was waterboarding, a process of simulated drowning. No doubt the procedure was tough, but medical experts assured the CIA that it did no lasting harm,” writes Bush.
Bush adds that waterboarding of Mohammed led to more valuable information, including plans to attack American targets with anthrax.
Dick Cheney, who hasn’t read Bush’s book yet, said that “Bush went a bit overboard with the waterboard stuff. He got a little waterboard crazy. He wanted everybody waterboarded, Andy Card, Karl Rove… one day he even wanted Laura waterboarded. I’m sure he’s waterboarding his staff in Crawford right now to keep them in line.”
Bush said that when he sees Cheney next month at a conservative conference in New Orleans, ‘I’d love to take an hour or so and waterboard Dick again. I had so much fun with Dick. It was a hoot!”
Bush said that he, personally, was never waterboarding, but “if I ever do anything wrong, I wouldn’t mind. But I’ve never done anything wrong. I have no regrets.”