Matt Lauer went after Bush over his secret prisons and the use of torture on the captured terrorists via The Today Show this morning. He was uncommonly strong and didn't back down when Bush gave his pet answer. He hits the right note because if what we've been doing is legal then why was there the need for secret prisons? When Bush gets cornered--he starts saying he's not going to talk about it anymore...(Glenn Greenwald has a post up now about John Yoo--Bush's torture man.)
Matt Lauer: And yet you admitted that there were these CIA secret facilities. OK?
President Bush: So what? Why is that not within the law?
Matt Lauer: The head of Amnesty International says secret sites are against international law.
President Bush: Well, we just disagree with him. Plus, my job is to protect you. And most American people, if I said [to them] that we had who we think is the mastermind of the 9/11, they would say, “Why don’t you see if you can’t get information without torturing him,” which is what we did.
Matt Lauer: I don’t want to let this “within the law issue” slip though. I mean, if, in fact, there was water boarding used with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and for the viewers, that’s basically when you strap someone to a board and you make them feel as if they’re going to drown by putting them underwater, if that was legal and within the law, why couldn’t you do it at Guantanamo? Why did you have to go to a secret location around the world?
President Bush: I’m not going to talk about techniques. And, I’m not going explain to the enemy what we’re doing. All I’m telling you is that you’ve asked me whether or not we’re doing things to protect the American people, and I want the American people to know we are doing so.