LLR Pages

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bush Vetoes Waterboard Ban Bill

El Leader vetoes a bill that, if passed, would have outlawed waterboarding as a tool for interrogating apprehended suspects in the name of the War on Terror.

According to the Washington Post:

President Bush vetoed Saturday legislation meant to ban the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics, saying it 'would take away one of the most valuable tools on the war on terror.'

'This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe,' Bush said in his weekly radio address.

Congress approved an intelligence authorization bill that contains the waterboarding provision on slim majorities, far short of the two-thirds needed to override a presidential veto.

Bush's long-expected veto reignites the Washington debate over the proper limits of U.S. interrogation policies and whether the CIA has engaged in torture by subjecting prisoners to severe tactics, including waterboarding, a type of simulated drowning.

The issue also has potential ramifications for Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), the presumptive Republican presidential nominee and a longtime critic of coercive interrogation tactics who nonetheless backed the Bush administration in opposing the CIA waterboarding ban. The Democratic presidential candidates, Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.), both support the ban, though neither was present for last month's Senate vote for the bill that Bush is to veto.

'It is shameful that George Bush and John McCain lack the courage to ban torture,' said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean.

McCain has said that, while he opposes waterboarding, he agrees with the Bush administration that the CIA needs to be able to use tactics banned by the military but which fall short of torture or cruel treatment.