Bill Press: You said that you believe President Bush actually saw one of these videos?
Larry Johnson: I think it’s highly likely.
This is what I love about Think Progress, somehow what Larry Johnson thinks, without offering any sort of proof (at least in the out of context clip they played) is considered actual proof of a crime. Hell at his point we don't even know what was on the tapes other than enhanced interrogation techniques, but under the guidelines grabbing a subjects shirt and hollering at him is an enhanced technique. Is that what was on the tapes? I don't know. I suspect it was probably a little more substantial but I doubt that it rose to the level of slowly melting the skin of the guys face with a blowtorch either. My guess is the tapes probably showed at least one incident of waterboarding and probably a couple beatings, but I can't be sure.
Even if the tapes were shown to the President do we know what his reaction was? Despite what is posted over at Think Progress I doubt that the President pleasured himself while watching them. It may be that he was disgusted and let the CIA know that. Apparently waterboarding hasn't been used since 2003. But again I don't know.
What do I know? After the CIA advised numerous times (including by the White House) to maintain the tapes a high-ranking person at the CIA destroyed them. This impacted the courts, the 9/11 commission and congressional oversight. In my opinion (still) it was unacceptable. Others may disagree. I think they are wrong.
CIA, Torture, Torture Tapes, Larry Johnson