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 provides guidelines for intelligence activities for the year and includes the interrogation requirement. It passed 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. Read on...
Both Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer have issued statements calling Bush's veto "deeply misguided" and that "the world must know that American doesn't torture." But a letter to Bush from 30 retired military admirals and generals says it all:
We believe it is vital to the safety of our men and women in uniform that the United States not sanction the use of interrogation methods it would find unacceptable if inflicted by the enemy against captured Americans…The current situation, in which the military operates under one set of interrogation rules that are public and the CIA operates under a separate, secret set of rules, is unwise and impractical…What sets us apart from our enemies in this fight…is how we behave. In everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect.
So the question is, will George W. Bush listen to the generals?