Bush: Sure, I approved torture, so what? Oh, and by the way, we don't torture.
The American people have heard President Bush and his spokespeople say many times that the U.S. government does not engage in torture.
Whether Bush was believed or not is another story -- especially in light of the photographic evidence of the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib. It's understood that many of the photos are too sadistically graphic to be made public.
Still, the official U.S. denials of torture continued until earlier this month when Bush acknowledged in an interview with ABC-TV that he knew about and approved "enhanced interrogation" of detainees, including "waterboarding" or simulated drowning.
"As a matter of fact," Bush added, "I told the country we did that. And I told them it was legal. We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it."
The president added, "I didn't have any problems at all trying to find out what Khalid Sheik Mohammed knew."
"He was the person who ordered the suicide attack -- I mean, the 9/11 attacks," Bush said. "And back then, there was all kind of concern about people saying, 'Well, the administration is not connecting the dots.' You might remember those -- that period." Bush said.
Bush also said in the interview that he had been aware of several meetings his national security advisers held to discuss "enhanced interrogation" methods.
Surely he is aware of the U.S. commitment to international treaties barring "cruel and inhumane" treatment of prisoners.
What is startling is that he feels no remorse about the cruel image he has created for us -- and the damage done to our credibility and probity.