Washington: Former US president George W Bush
says in his new memoir he personally gave the go-ahead for CIA
officers to waterboard self-confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid
Sheikh Mohammed, according to on Thursday's Washington Post.
"Damn right," Bush said when asked by the Central
Intelligence Agency whether they should employ the coercive
and controversial interrogation technique against the terror
suspect, the Post reported, citing an unnamed person who has
read the book.
The memoir, "Decision Points," is due out next week.
Bush states he believed Mohammed was holding vital
information about pending terror plots against the United
States, and that the president would make the same decision
again on simulated drowning of detainees if it meant saving
American lives, according to the report.
Shortly after taking office in early 2009, Bush's
successor President Barack Obama and his new Attorney General
Eric Holder described waterboarding -- introduced by the Bush
administration during its "war on terror" -- as an act of
The CIA employed the technique, which involves pouring
water on someone's face while he is bound to a board, on
Mohammed and at least two other detainees in 2003, including
Abu Zubaydah, the agency's first high-value Al-Qaeda detainee.
Last year in a detailed timeline of the interrogations,
the Senate Intelligence Committee said the CIA first sought to
use what Bush described as "enhanced" interrogation techniques
including waterboarding in May 2002, after attorney general
John Ashcroft concluded that waterboarding was lawful.
First Published: Thursday, November 04, 2010, 21:28