Torture report profile: George W. Bush

George W. Bush

George W. Bush

Role: President
Years: 2001 to 2009

Bush, who signed an order authorizing CIA detentions six days after the 9/11 attacks, said in his memoir that he approved use of the most controversial interrogation techniques in 2002. When briefed in 2006 on CIA techniques — evidently just before delivering a speech officially disclosing the secret prison system — Bush “expressed discomfort with the image of a detainee, chained to the ceiling, clothed in a diaper, and forced to go to the bathroom on himself,” according to a CIA record quoted by Senate Democrats. In 2008, Bush vetoed a bill restricting the CIA to using less harsh interrogation methods approved by the U.S. Army.

Freddy Ford, Mr. Bush’s spokesman, referred to the former president’s comments to CNN last week before the report was issued. “We're fortunate to have men and women who work hard at the CIA serving on our behalf,” Bush said. “These are patriots, and whatever the report says — if it diminishes their contributions to our country, it is way off-base.”