Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bush vetoes bill outlawing CIA waterboarding

President George W. Bush on Saturday vetoed legislation passed by Congress that would have banned the CIA from using waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques.

Lawmakers included the anti-torture measure in a broader bill authorizing U.S. intelligence activities.

"Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists," Bush said in his weekly radio address. He added that the vetoed legislation "would diminish these vital tools."

The House of Representatives approved the legislation in December and the Senate passed it in February despite White House warnings it would be vetoed.

CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress last month that government interrogators used waterboarding on three suspects captured after the September 11 attacks.

The simulated drowning technique has been condemned by many members of Congress, human rights groups and other countries as a form of illegal torture.