Bush sees compromise on torture ban
WASHINGTON: US President George W Bush said Monday that he was confident of reaching a deal with lawmakers enabling US interrogators to extract information from suspected terrorists “without torturing people”.
“I mean, if they know something, we need to know it. And we think we can find it without torturing people,” the president told NBC Nightly News during one of a series of interviews throughout the day.
“If you found somebody that had information about an attack on America, you’d want to know as best as we can to find out what the facts are,” Bush said according to a transcript released on the television network’s Internet site.
The Bush administration has been battling Republican Senator John McCain over his legislation banning “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment of detainees, arguing especially that the CIA should be exempt. Asked whether he could “meet” McCain’s definition, Bush replied: “I’m confident we can. On the other hand we want to make sure that we’re in a position to be able to interrogate without torture. These are people that still want to hurt us.”
Asked why the United States could not come down firmly against torture, Bush replied: “We are and we will be at home and abroad.”
“People who’ve violated the definition of torture will be held to account if that’s what you’re asking. Now, what we want to make sure of is that a person will be able to understand the rules,” he said. reuters