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Friday, February 15, 2008

Bush to veto intelligence bill restricting CIA interrogation tactics
Jaime Jansen at 10:30 AM ET

[JURIST] US President George W. Bush said in a BBC interview [transcript; recorded video] Thursday that he will veto an intelligence funding bill [HR 2082 materials] that would restrict CIA interrogators to using only interrogation techniques explicitly authorized by the 2006 Army Field Manual. Bush said that:

The reason I'm vetoing the bill - first of all, we have said that whatever we do... will be legal. Secondly, they are imposing a set of standards on our intelligence communities in terms of interrogating prisoners that our people will think will be ineffective. And, you know, to the critics, I ask them this: when we, within the law, interrogate and get information that protects ourselves and possibly others in other nations to prevent attacks, which attack would they have hoped that we wouldn't have prevented? And so, the United States will act within the law. We'll make sure professionals have the tools necessary to do their job within the law. Now, I recognize some say that these - terrorists - really aren't that big a threat to the United States anymore. I fully disagree. And I think the president must give his professionals within the law the necessary tools to protect us. So, we're not having a debate not only how you interrogate people. We're having a debate in America on whether or not we ought to be listening' to terrorists making' phone calls in the United States. And the answer is darn right we ought to be.
Though the US Senate approved [JURIST report] the measure Wednesday, it failed to approve it by the two-thirds majority necessary to override a presidential veto. The US House agreed to the measure [JURIST report] in December.

Field Manual 2-22.3 [PDF text; press release], Human Intelligence Collector Operations, explicitly prohibits the use of waterboarding [JURIST news archive], electrocution, sensory deprivation, inducing hypothermia, or depriving the subject of food, water, or medical care. The 2006 manual also specifies that the Geneva Conventions [ICRC materials] apply to all detainees [JURIST report] and eliminates separate standards for the questioning of prisoners of war and enemy combatants. AFP has more.





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