Saturday, March 08, 2008

Bush Vetos Torture Bill

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.

Let's just get this straight right out of the gate: Waterboarding is torture. It is not a "harsh interrogation practice", it is torture.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Bush often warns against ignoring the advice of U.S. commanders on the ground in Iraq. Yet the president has rejected the Army Field Manual, which recognizes that harsh interrogation tactics elicit unreliable information, said Reid, D-Nev.

So we're going to torture people in order to obtain information that may or may not be reliable, yet Bush still wants to make statements like this:

"This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe," the president said.
Sorry, sir, but I don't believe that demolishing our moral authority in the world is going to do much to keep Americans safe. It certainly wouldn't keep any captured troops of ours safe when we can't denounce any torture practices that those who have captured them might use to obtain information due to our own use of such tactics. If we authorize the use of torture tactics in order to obtain information, how do we have the moral authority to make sure other countries do the same? And if we don't have that authority, how can we make sure that our troops won't be tortured as well? In that sense, I don't see how we can claim that we're keeping Americans safe, unless we don't count our troops as Americans that need protection, which wouldn't surprise me.

But the administration has refused to rule definitively on whether it is torture. Bush has said many times that his administration does not torture.

The White House says waterboarding remains among the interrogation methods potentially available to the CIA.

"Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists," Bush said.

So apparently Bush won't torture you unless he feels like he needs to. Awesome. I feel so much better now. Here's the link to the full article.


Sebatinsky said...

In the second quote, it is "Supporters of the legislation..." and the legislation the support "...would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods..."

That is, the legislation would raise our moral standing abroad, because it bans torture. Bush is the one Vetoing said bill.

Megan said...

Haha. True dat. Look at what outrage does to people.

Sebatinsky said...

That said, I don't even understand the rationale behind allowing torture. From a moral perspective it's reprehensible, and from a practical perspective, it's known to produce faulty information.

So.... what are they even thinking? Is it the maintenance of the tough-guy image? Dunno.

FEMily! said...

We won't be looking so tough when our soldiers are tortured abroad. Or not tortured. I don't even know what torture is anymore.

I think the image that the US has of being a moral example to the world is still going to remain, even with this bill's veto. Terrorists and armed forces around the world are just going to think, "If it's OK for America to do it, it's OK for us to do it." And for that reason, I kind of wish this bill's veto shredded our credibility.