Bush’s Story: Rendition Did Not Involve Torture, But Provided “Vital Intelligence”

Bush Library Video: “Suspected Terrorist Leaders And Operatives Captured During The War Have Been Held And Questioned Outside The United States.” From the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum:

[Stills from George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum “War On Terror” Film, video captured May 3-4, 2013]

Bush In Library Video: Some Terror Suspects “Held And Questioned Outside The United States,” Helping Us “Gain Vital Intelligence.” In a video shown at the Bush W. Presidential Library and Museum, President Bush says, “Working with our allies, we’ve captured and detained thousands of enemy fighters in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and other fronts of this War on Terror. […] In additional to the terrorists held at Guantanamo, a small number of suspected terrorist leaders and operatives captured during the war have been held and questioned outside the United States in a separate program operated by the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA program helped us gain vital intelligence from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al Shibh, two of the men believed to have helped plan and facilitate the 9/11 attacks.” [George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, video taken on May 3-4, 2013]

Bush: “We Do Not Render To Countries That Torture.” According to the New York Times, “President George W. Bush said Tuesday: ‘We do not render to countries that torture. That has been our policy, and that policy will remain the same.’ But McClellan, pressed repeatedly by reporters, would not say whether the United States took steps to ensure that countries to which the United States transfers prisoners lived up to promises not to use torture.” [New York Times, 12/8/05]

Bush Claimed Rendition Occurred Only “With The Promise They Won’t Be Tortured.” According to the New York Times transcript of a news conference on March 16, 2005, President Bush was asked, “Mr. President, can you explain why you’ve approved of and expanded the practice of what’s called rendition, of transferring individuals out of U.S. custody to countries where human rights groups and your own State Department say torture is common for people under custody?” Bush said, “The post-9/11 world, the United States must make sure we protect our people and our friends from attack. That was the charge we have been given. And one way to do so is to arrest people and send them back to their country of origin with the promise that they won’t be tortured. That’s the promise we receive. This country does not believe in torture. We do believe in protecting ourselves. We don’t believe in torture.” [New York Times, 3/16/05]