The media is all aflutter over President Bush’s admission today that terrorists have been held by the U.S. overseas.
President George W. Bush acknowledged on Wednesday the CIA has run a secret detention program for terrorism suspects overseas and said 14 of those held have been transferred to the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay.
With human rights organizations suspicious about a program that has remained in the shadows, Bush strongly defended the detention and questioning of terrorism suspects through this method and said the CIA treats them humanely and does not torture.
“Were it not for this program, our intelligence community believes that al Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland. By giving us information about terrorist plans we could not get anywhere else, this program has saved innocent lives,” Bush said in a White House speech nearly five years after the September 11 attacks.
Thanks to the Washington Post revealing the existence of the CIA’s secret prisons last year, the Bush administration has transferred to other locations these prisoners, who number fewer than 100. President Bush also announced that with the transfer of 14 prisoners to Gitmo, the CIA is no longer holding anyone. In a real shocker, President Bush didn’t say where these secret prisons were, proving that he can keep a secret better than the average Washington Post staffer.
I like this quote from the news story:
Bush’s current focus on terrorism comes not only as the September 11 anniversary approaches but also as his Republican Party faces stiff challenges in the midterm elections in two months.
This makes it sound as though the President woke up this week and said, “Yep, ’bout time I did somethin’ about terrorism again.” While any good politician can juggle multiple tasks, President Bush has been very focused on the threat of terrorism–wholly contrary to the way this report was written.