Washington, Nov 9 (ANI): Former US President George W Bush has claimed that the "waterboarding" of terror suspects by the CIA saved British lives by stopping Islamist attacks on Heathrow and Canary Wharf.
According to the Telegraph, in an interview while releasing his memoir "Decision Points", Bush defended waterboarding, a kind of simulated drowning that was known as an "enhanced interrogation technique" by the Bush administration but regarded as "torture" by many opponents, some allies and a few internal dissenters.
Denying that the practice led to torture, Bush said: "Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives."
On being asked whether he authorised of waterboarding to gain information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the captured al-Qaeda leader, he responded: "Damn right!"
In his book, Bush writes: "Their interrogations helped break up plots to attack American diplomatic facilities abroad, Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf in London, and multiple targets in the United States," adding that although the procedure was "tough", it was legal.
The British government has long viewed waterboarding as torture. Last month, Sir John Sawers, the head of MI6, said in a speech that Britain had "nothing whatsoever" to do with torture, the paper said.
During the interview, Bush also hailed former British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a modern-day Winston Churchill, but was dismissive of the significance of British public opinion during the run-up to the Iraq war and subsequently, the paper said.
In his book, he admits that he had ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, and describes how he considered a covert attack on Syrian nuclear facilities but decided against it when the CIA judged it too risky. (ANI)