Wednesday October 10, 2007
Former president Jimmy Carter isn't just suspicious that the US is using torture to extract intelligence from detainees -- he's absolutely convinced.
Asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer if, by Carter's definition of the word, the United States had used torture during the Bush administration, the Nobel Peace Prize winner was adamant:
"I don't think it, I know it," he said. "Certainly."
Pressed by Blitzer on whether that meant that President Bush was lying, Carter was equally clear.
"The president is self-defning what we have done and authorized in the torture of prisoners," said Carter."Yes. Earlier in the interview, Carter said Bush's denial this week that the US did not in fact torture detainees was "not an accurate statement if you use the international norms of torture as has always been honored in the last 60 years, since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was promulgated."
"But you can make your own definition of human rights and say we don't violate them," he added, "and you can make your own defintion of torture and say we don't violate them."
Carter was equally outspoken in a Wednesday interview with the BBC, calling Vice President Dick Cheney a "disaster," according to Reuters.
"He's a militant who avoided any service of his own in the military," he said of Cheney, adding that the vice president "has been most forceful in the last 10 years or more in fulfilling some of his more ancient commitments that the United States has a right to inject its power through military means in other parts of the world."
"You know he's been a disaster for our country," Carter continued. "I think he's been overly persuasive on President George Bush and quite often he's prevailed."
The following video is from CNN's Situation Room, broadcast on October 10, 2007.