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During an interview this morning on NPR, former Vice President Al Gore criticized Bush for approving the techniques, calling it “obscene,” adding that his use of signing statements is “a raw assertion of authority outside the boundaries of the law”:
GORE: Ultimately the guarantor of our freedoms are the people. And these kinds of outrages, a president saying that he has the right turn George Washington’s 200-plus year prohibition against torture and torture anyone he wants with his assistants gathering in the basement of the White House — according to recent revelations — personally reviewing the kinds of torture techniques being used prisoner by prisoner, its obscene.
On April 9, ABC News reported that in 2002, President Bush’s most senior advisers approved the use of harsh interrogation tactics. Days later, Bush confirmed to ABC he “approved” of the tactics. Since the ABC report, the media have largely ignored the story. Morever, it took 14 days for a reporter to raise the issue in a White House press briefing.