Bush: torture should be official United States policy

Botero, painting on Abu Ghraib torture by US troopsBush White House declares torture vital to US security policy

By Patrick Martin

7 October 2005

In an extraordinary declaration of the brutality of American foreign policy, the Bush administration denounced a Senate vote to bar the use of torture against prisoners held by the US military.

Responding to the passage of an amendment to a Pentagon spending bill—approved by an overwhelming 90-9 vote Wednesday, the White House said the proposal would “restrict the president’s authority to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack and bring terrorists to justice.”

The statement indicated that Bush would veto the entire appropriation, providing $440 billion to fund military operations for the next fiscal year, rather than accept the restrictions on interrogation techniques spelled out in the Senate amendment.

The 90-9 vote came on an amendment sponsored by Senator John McCain of Arizona, a Republican and former prisoner of war in Vietnam.

McCain, a fervent supporter of the war in Iraq, has opposed the use of torture in military facilities like Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, because it damages US foreign policy interests and could become the pretext for subjecting captured American military personnel to the same techniques in retaliation.

McCain’s amendment had the backing of two dozen former generals and admirals, including former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and former Secretary of State and JCS chairman Colin Powell.

Read more here.

More on Fernando Botero‘s paintings on torture by US troops here.

See also on British playwright Harold Pinter‘s new play on torture.

9 thoughts on “Bush: torture should be official United States policy

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