US House fails to override Bush veto of waterboarding ban

[JURIST] Democrats in the US House of Representatives Tuesday failed to secure enough votes to override President George W. Bush's veto [JURIST report] of the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008 [HR 2082 materials], which would have prohibited the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] from using waterboarding [JURIST news archive] and other interrogation techniques not explicitly authorized by the 2006 Army Field Manual. Even with a final vote of 225-188 [roll call] in favor of the bill, supporters still fell 51 votes short of the two-thirds majority required to overcome a presidential veto.

Democrats and rights groups have denounced Bush's veto, saying the use of coercive techniques was ineffective and inhumane. Field Manual 2-22.3 [PDF text; press release], Human Intelligence Collector Operations, explicitly prohibits the use of waterboarding, 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. In announcing his veto, Bush said [radio address transcript; recorded audio] that techniques outside those allowed in Army Field Manual were crucial to the effective interrogation of terror suspects, and that banning them would put the country at higher risk of attack. Bush had previously indicated his plans to veto the bill [JURIST report] in a BBC interview [transcript; recorded video] in February. AP has more.



 

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