AP : Reaction to Bush's Veto of Torture Bill

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Reaction to Bush's Veto of Torture Bill

By The Associated Press | March 8, 2008

Reaction to President Bush's veto Saturday of legislation that would have banned the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists. Bush said the bill would have ended practices that have prevented attacks.

"The president has once again compromised the moral leadership of our nation." — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

"I am sure that the executive and legislative branches will continue to exchange ideas on the legal framework governing interrogations, including interrogations of the most dangerous international terrorists. Whatever the result, our agency's position is absolutely clear: CIA will continue to operate within the law, strictly abiding by the decisions of the republic we protect." — CIA Director Michael Hayden.

"Failing to legally prohibit the use of waterboarding and other harsh torture techniques undermines our nation's moral authority, puts American military and diplomatic personnel at-risk, and undermines the quality of intelligence." — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

"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." — Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

"Unless Congress overrides the veto, it will go down in history as a flagrant insult to the rule of law and a serious stain on the good name of America in the eyes of the world." — Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.

"I have heard nothing to suggest that information obtained from enhanced interrogation techniques has prevented an imminent terrorist attack. And I have heard nothing that makes me think the information obtained from these techniques could not have been obtained through traditional interrogation methods used by military and law enforcement interrogators." — Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

"President Bush will go down in history as the torture president. He has now defied a majority of Congress to allow the use of interrogation techniques that any reasonable observer would call torture." — Jennifer Daskal, senior counterterrorism counsel at Human Rights Watch.

"I believe that we must reject torture without equivocation because it does not make us safe, it results in unreliable intelligence, it puts our troops at risk, and it contradicts core American values." — Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.