ACLU describes President Bush's veto of CIA waterboarding ban as 'a callous disregard for human rights'

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has described President Bush's veto of CIA waterboarding ban as, among other things, "a brazen move signaling a callous disregard for human rights." The executive director of the ACLU, Anthony Romero, said that "it is fundamentally un-American when our president vetoes laws against torture." Romero believes "the president's veto sends a message to the world that despite Congress' actions, our country will continue to engage in this inhumane and heinous conduct when we should be affirming unequivocally and in one voice that torture and abuse will stop and never happen again. No one is above the rule of law, including the president. Congress should hold firm and persist in trying to get an anti-torture bill signed into law."

John McCain's support of the bill was also mentioned with Caroline Fredrickson saying that "Senator McCain has been the leading voice in Congress on the issue of torture for many years. He led the charge in 2005 to extend the Army Field Manual to all DoD agencies. But by voting 'no' last month, he has given President Bush cover to veto a further extension that would rein in the CIA. The president cannot continue telling our citizens and the world that the United States does not torture when, at the same time, he vetoes legislation that would outlaw such policies. America needs Congress to continue sending President Bush anti-torture legislation until he complies with the will of the people and the Congress and signs it in to law."

The bill, which passed the House of Representatives in November and the Senate in February despite warnings that it would be vetoed, established guidelines for intelligence activities. One of these guidelines would limit the CIA to only using interrogation methods allowed in the U.S. Army Field Manual.


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