Bush condones torture

About the author
Nikolaj Nielsen is an independent journalist and editor based in Brussels. www.nikolajnielsen.com

A torture technique once used in the Spanish Inquisition has been condoned by the US president. George Bush vetoed a Congressional bill outlawing water boarding and other forms of torture. Bush's latest exercise of executive power will allow the CIA to continue practicing waterboarding. Bush claims the bill would have made it more difficult for CIA operatives to obtain key information from terrorists, despite compelling evidence and advice that suggests otherwise. US General David H. Petraeus says the use of waterboarding will increase the risks of torture for future American prisoners of war. Democrats may attempt to override the veto but require a two-third majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives to do so.

The toD verdict: Waterboarding simulates drowning and is illegal under the Geneva Conventions. Indeed, even under US law the technique is considered a war crime. Bush has used his veto power nine times, eight of which occurred in the past ten months under a Congress dominated by Democrats. The New York Times first reported the use of the technique by American interrogators in 2004 but a CIA Director Michael Hayden recently admitted that waterboarding has been on the table since 2002. Hayden's admission, along with Bush's approval of torture, will most likely enflame anti-American sentiment and provide more militant recruitment material against American forces and their allies.

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US funding Taliban

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