In yet another sterling accomplishment during his tenure as president, George W. Bush vetoed a bill that would have banned the CIA from using waterboarding, electrocution, beating, burning, using dogs, and stripping prisoners and forcing them to mimic sexual acts. Bush outlined his reasoning in his weekly radio address:
The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror. So today I vetoed it. This is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe…… We created alternative procedures to question the most dangerous al Qaeda operatives, particularly those who might have knowledge of attacks planned on our homeland. If we were to shut down this program and restrict the CIA to methods in the field manual, we could lose vital information from senior al Qaeda terrorists, and that could cost American lives.
You know what I would love? For some country to stand up to us and propose sanctions against the U.S. until they stop the use of these methods. It’s what we would do if some developing country was flaunting their use of torture, so why can’t the same rules apply to us?
Sen. Ted Kennedy, who is a fervent backer of Barack Obama, had this to say:
President Bush’s veto will be one of the most shameful acts of his presidency. 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.