British Say Bush Claims That Waterboarding Stopped Terrorist Plots Are Untrue
British officials say claims George W. Bush makes in his memoir that waterboarding saved lives of their citizens is not true. Bush wrote, “Their interrogations helped break up plots to attack American diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow airport, and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States.” Specifically mentioned is the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
British counter-terrorism officials distanced themselves from Bush’s claims. They said Mohammed provided “extremely valuable” information which was passed on to security and intelligence agencies, but that it mainly related to al-Qaida’s structure and was not known to have been extracted through torture. Eliza Manningham-Buller,head of MI5 at the time, said earlier this year that the government protested to the US over the torture of terror suspects, but that the Americans concealed Mohammed’s waterboarding from Britain. Officials said today the US still had not officially told the British government about the conditions in which Mohammed was held.
Kim Howells, former chairman of the Commons intelligence and security committee and Labour foreign minister, told the BBC that, while he did not doubt the existence of plots, he doubted whether waterboarding provided information instrumental in preventing them coming to fruition.
David Davis, the Conservative former shadow home secretary, said: “For [Bush] to demonstrate the use of torture saved British lives he has to demonstrate you can’t get information any other way.” He added: “We know from Iraq that whenever brains rather than brutality was involved, you get better results.”Click here for reuse options!
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