Friday, March 28, 2008

CNN: Bush vetoes bill banning waterboarding

from CNN website:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush said Saturday he vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks.

The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror," Bush said in his weekly radio address taped for broadcast Saturday. "So today I vetoed it," Bush said. The bill he rejected provides guidelines for intelligence activities for the year and has the interrogation requirement as one provision. It cleared the House in December and the Senate last month.
"This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe," the president said.

Supporters of the legislation say it would preserve the United States' ability to collect critical intelligence while also providing a much-needed boost to country's moral standing abroad.
"Torture is a black mark against the United States," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California. "We will not stop until [the ban] becomes law."

The bill would limit CIA interrogators to the 19 techniques allowed for use by military questioners. The Army field manual in 2006 banned using methods such as waterboarding or sensory deprivation on uncooperative prisoners.