Bush, in memoir, says he approved waterboarding: Report



Bush, in memoir, says he approved waterboarding: Report 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 torture.

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.

PTI