During an interview with President Bush on Britain’s Sky News yesterday, Sky political editor Adam Boulton noted that while Bush talks “a lot about freedom,” there are many who say that some of the Bush administration’s torture and detention policies represent “the complete opposite of freedom.” But Bush quickly snapped back, saying those criticizing his policies are slandering America:
BOULTON: There are those who would say look, lets take Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Ghraib, and rendition and all those things and to them that is the complete opposite of freedom.
BUSH: Of course, if you want to slander America.
Watch it (beginning at 15:50):
So, according to Bush, below is a short — but by no means exhaustive — list of those who have suggested that Bush’s terrorism policies represent “the opposite of freedom” and thus have slandered America:
– The United States Supreme Court: The Court ruled last week that “terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay have a right to seek their release in federal court” saying that Bush’s policy compromised “the Constitution’s guarantee of liberty.”
– The Federal Bureau of Investigation: An FBI report issued last month said that according to its agents, “[m]ilitary officials at Guantanamo Bay used some aggressive techniques before they were approved, possibly in violation of Defense Department policy and U.S. law.”
– McClatchy Newspapers: An eight month McClatchy investigation found that after the Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. has wrongfully imprisoned “perhaps hundreds” of men “in Afghanistan, Cuba and elsewhere on the basis of flimsy or fabricated evidence, old personal scores or bounty payments.”
Boulton told Bush that the Supreme Court “ruled against what you have been doing” at Guantanamo but Bush wouldn’t budge, arguing that the district court, appellate court and Congress agreed that Gitmo detainees do not have to right to challenge their detention.
Boulton, a Briton, then had to remind Bush of America’s checks and balances system: “But the Supreme Court is supreme isn’t it?”
Dan Froomkin has more.