Bush: Interrogations Were Legal
Former president says CIA program was legal, saved lives
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2009 6:34 AM CDT
Former President George W. Bush speaks at the Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan in Benton Harbor, Michigan yesterday.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – George W. Bush didn't mention Dick Cheney by name, but he backed his assertions that the CIA's harsh interrogations were legal and saved lives, CNN reports. After terror suspect Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured in 2003, for example, Bush said he checked with "the lawyers" to determine how to proceed. "I made the decision, within the law, to get information so I can say to myself, 'I've done what it takes to do my duty to protect the American people.' I can tell you that the information we got saved lives."

Bush, in his first major US speech since leaving office, avoided the combative tone taken by Cheney in recent weeks and stressed that he wasn't trying to disparage President Obama. "There are plenty of people who have weighed in," he said. Trust me, having seen it first-hand. I didn't like it when a former president criticized me, so therefore I am not going to criticize my successor. I wish him all the best."