T Nation

The Bush Interrogation Veto

Bush Vetoes Bill That Would Limit Interrogations

By STEVEN LEE MYERS
Published: March 8, 2008
WASHINGTON �?? Despite Congressional efforts to force a change in course, President Bush further cemented his legacy of establishing strong executive powers Saturday, giving the Central Intelligence Agency broad latitude to use harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists that are prohibited by the military and law enforcement agencies.

Mr. Bush vetoed a bill that would have explicitly prohibited the agency from using such interrogation methods, which include waterboarding, a technique that suffocates a restrained prisoner and has been the subject of intense criticism at home and abroad.

Mr. Bush�??s veto deepens his battle with increasingly assertive Democrats in Congress over issues at the heart of his legacy. As his presidency winds down, he has made it clear he does not intend to bend in this or other confrontations with Congress on issues from the war in Iraq to contempt charges against his chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, and former counsel, Harriet E. Miers.

Mr. Bush announced the veto in his weekly radio address, which is distributed to stations across the country each Saturday. In his remarks, he unflinchingly defended an interrogation program that has prompted critics to accuse him not only of authorizing torture previously but also of refusing to ban it in the future.

�??Because the danger remains,�?? he said, referring to the threat from Al Qaeda, �??we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists.�??

Mr. Bush�??s veto �?? only the ninth of his presidency, but the eighth in the last 10 months with Democrats in control of Congress �?? underscored his determination to preserve many of the executive prerogatives his administration has claimed in the war on terror and to cement them into law before he steps down.

Mr. Bush is now fighting with Congress over the expansion of powers under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and over the depth of the American security commitments to Iraq once the United Nations mandate for the international forces there expires at the end of the year.

The administration has also moved ahead with the first military tribunals of those detained at Guantánamo, including Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a mastermind of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, despite calls to try suspects in civilian courts.

All are issues that turn on presidential powers and all will define Mr. Bush�??s legacy for decades to come. And as he has through most of his presidency, he built his case on the threat of terrorism.

�??The fact that we have not been attacked over the past six and a half years is not a matter of chance,�?? Mr. Bush said in his radio remarks, echoing comments he made on Thursday at a ceremony marking the fifth anniversary of the creation of the Department of Homeland Security.

�??We have no higher responsibility than stopping terrorist attacks,�?? he added. �??And this is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe.�??

The bill Mr. Bush vetoed would have limited all American interrogators to techniques allowed in the Army Field Manual on Interrogation, which prohibits using physical force against prisoners.

Democrats, who supported the legislation as part of a larger bill that authorized a vast array of intelligence programs, criticized the veto sharply, but they do not have the votes to override it.

�??This president had the chance to end the torture debate for good,�?? one of its sponsors, Senator Diane Feinstein of California, said in a statement on Friday evening when it became clear Mr. Bush intended to carry out his veto threat. �??Yet, he chose instead to leave the door open to use torture in the future. The United States is not well-served by this.�??

Senator Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts said it would be �??one of the most shameful acts of his presidency.�?? And the Senate�??s majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, said that Mr. Bush disregarded the advice of military commanders, including Gen. David H. Petraeus, who argued that the military�??s interrogation techniques were effective and that the use of any others could create risks for any future American prisoners of war.

�??He has rejected the Army field manual�??s recognition that such horrific tactics elicit unreliable information, put U.S. troops at risk and undermine our counterinsurgency efforts,�?? Mr. Reid said in a statement.

Democrats vowed to raise the matter again, and the debate could spill into the presidential campaign, which some Republicans suspect was a motive for the Democrats to push the issue.

Senator John McCain, now the Republican presidential nominee, has been an outspoken opponent of torture from his own experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In this case, however, he supported the administration�??s position, arguing as Mr. Bush did on Saturday that legislation would have limited the C.I.A.�??s ability to gather intelligence.

Mr. Bush said that the agency should not be bound by rules written for soldiers in combat, as opposed to highly trained experts dealing with hardened terrorists. The bill�??s supporters countered that the legislation would have banned only a handful of techniques whose effective was in dispute in any case.

The administration has also said that waterboarding is no longer in use, though officials acknowledged last month that it had been used in three instances before the middle of 2003, including against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Officials, however, have left vague the question of whether it could be authorized again in extraordinary circumstances.

Mr. Bush asserted, as he has previously, that information from the C.I.A.�??s interrogations had averted terrorist attacks, including plots to attack a Marine camp in Djibouti, the American consulate in Karachi, Pakistan, Library Tower in Los Angeles and passenger planes from Britain. And he maintained that the techniques involved the exact nature of which remains classified as secret �?? were �??safe and lawful.�??

�??Were it not for this program, our intelligence community believes that Al Qaeda and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland,�?? Mr. Bush said.

The handling of detainees since 2001 has dogged the administration politically, but Mr. Bush and his aides have barely conceded any ground to critics, even in the face of legal challenges, as happened with the prisoners in Guantánamo or the warrant-less wiretapping.

Do you really think someone being tortured is going to give real and accurate information?

[quote]Force wrote:
Do you really think someone being tortured is going to give real and accurate information? [/quote]

Do you think it never worked?

Shut up already, you unpatriotic clod!

Guantanamo is a 5-stars resort compared to the conditions those barbarians were living under in the Afghan hills. The USA, out of goodness of its heart, is giving them all the water they can drink even if they’re not thirsty.

How dare you question the wisdom of the Commandier in Chief’s decisions?

Terrorist-sympathizer!

WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) – A new study that applies the principles of game theory to intelligence gathering says torture does not succeed in getting information.

Roger Koppl, a professor of economics at Fairleigh Dickinson University, said Wednesday torture does not work because of a central problem: The government inflicting the torture can’t make a believable promise to the torture victim that the punishment will stop once he or she tells the truth.

His study, entitled “Epistemic Systems,” applies game theory to social situations in which people must decide whether to lie or tell the truth, according to a press release from the university. Game theory studies how people in conflict try to get the best outcome for themselves by picking the best available strategy.

His work appears in “Episteme: Journal of Social Epistemology,” a magazine that publishes research on which social situations encourage people to tell the truth and which do not.

According to Koppl, torture victims know governments resort to torture because they do not know the truth, so they would be unable to recognize it when they hear it. And if they do believe they have learned the truth, the victim has no reason to believe the torture will stop.

“Torture victims understand this fact and therefore hide the truth,” according to the statement.

Koppl’s research is meant to overturn conventional wisdom that suggests torture is an effective means of gathering information, particularly in a “ticking bomb” scenario, but that governments should not engage in it for moral reasons.

“There are situations in which torture works, but they are rare. Twentieth-Century experiences with torture show that it is futile in most cases,” Koppl said in the statement.

[quote]Force wrote:
WASHINGTON, April 5 (UPI) – A new study that applies the principles of game theory to intelligence gathering says torture does not succeed in getting information.

[/quote]

You have to be kidding. A study that applies game theory. What nonsense.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
You have to be kidding. A study that applies game theory. What nonsense.[/quote]

Do you have the slightest idea about what game theory is?

[quote]lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
You have to be kidding. A study that applies game theory. What nonsense.

Do you have the slightest idea about what game theory is?[/quote]

Why yes I do. And in this case it is certainly nonsense as it gives false results. Torture works. Not in every case but it works. Denial of this is ridiculous.

[/thread]

Oh it gets information. It’s just wrong.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
lixy wrote:
Zap Branigan wrote:
You have to be kidding. A study that applies game theory. What nonsense.

Do you have the slightest idea about what game theory is?

Why yes I do. And in this case it is certainly nonsense as it gives false results. Torture works. Not in every case but it works. Denial of this is ridiculous.

[/thread][/quote]

Lixy doesn’t have a problem with her brothers in murder torturing the shit out of anyone.

It is only the US that is not allowed. Since when has interrogation synonymous with torture?

I guess lixy thinks it is against the Geneva Conventions to even ask one of her murderous allies a damn question.

[quote]Force wrote:
Oh it gets information. It’s just wrong. [/quote]
It’s hard for Zap to make distinctions like that, he just knows that yes it works in getting information.

[quote]Force wrote:
Oh it gets information. It’s just wrong. [/quote]

Do you mean “wrong” as in the information is factually wrong, or that the technique is morally wrong?

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Force wrote:
Oh it gets information. It’s just wrong.

Do you mean “wrong” as in the information is factually wrong, or that the technique is morally wrong?[/quote]

But dude it is just wrong man.

To claim that all info gleaned through torture is factually wrong is preposterous. It is funny to see the fools line up and do just that.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Varqanir wrote:
Force wrote:
Oh it gets information. It’s just wrong.

Do you mean “wrong” as in the information is factually wrong, or that the technique is morally wrong?

But dude it is just wrong man.

To claim that all info gleaned through torture is factually wrong is preposterous. It is funny to see the fools line up and do just that.[/quote]

Yeah, all those drooling idiots in uniform with decades of experience and of the rank of colonel and higher.

Shame on them for not conforming to your opinion just because they know more than you about it.

Shame on them , and this will never get any further once it is institutionalized oh, no, an argument like "a mere terrorist kills a few dozen people, a drug dealer thousands. Do not these drug dealers terrorize our neighborhoods? " will never be made, especially not in the US were RICO is used to put light bulb vendors into jail for 10 years.

In a decade you will get the shit kicked out of you by a county sheriff for the possession of weed.

Or as an alternative, you drop the “land of the free” part and substitute it with “moderately enslaved”.

I mean, when arguing for a police state, you could at least work it into your anthems, since it is a source of pride to live in one, isn´t it?

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Varqanir wrote:
Force wrote:
Oh it gets information. It’s just wrong.

Do you mean “wrong” as in the information is factually wrong, or that the technique is morally wrong?

But dude it is just wrong man.

To claim that all info gleaned through torture is factually wrong is preposterous. It is funny to see the fools line up and do just that.[/quote]

curious as to exactly what percentage is factually correct according to your sources who have actually tortured. Because is once again it’s you against all experts/u.s. military on this one.

From the known confessions we know that the vast majority of information was simply made up, and the actual real information was already known. Also one would imagine that if waterboarding was that effective then it would still be in use and would have been used on more than 3 persons.


100meters saying the most of the info was made up to be honest none of us will ever now bc the most important info is top secret and never given out to any random person and deff not someone who hates the miltary waterboarding only on three people i doubt that to prolly just said three to make people like you happy. we will truely never now if it works bc they wont tell us there true info. but how i see it take a look around at 20 year olds tell me if they were hungry confused tired and being waterboard they wouldnt spill there guts to make it stop.

This is nonesense.
If military specialists would have the slightest doubts that torture isn’t effective, they would defend it.

It all comes down to this; even if it would be effective (which it isn’t, period), then where do you stop?

If all you can say is “well, waterboardning and impaling his cock gave us the location of the bomb”, then good luck with that. You’ll need it in our new “home of the brave”.
Because the end would ultimately justify the means and every hideous thing a state must protect it’s citizens (and derives it’s legitimacy) from could be used as a inter. technique.

Why not gang raping a female terrorist, in the end she confessed?
Why not threatening and starting with killing the terrorists children before his eyes, he told us about everything?

But be honest, for a real special case (like, a dirty bomb in Manhatten) there’s always the president’s pardon.

Bush could have easily made waterboarding legitimate through trying to pin the details down. Would have been ugly still, but MILES better then this law-vaccum.
How long can you waterboard? Must a doctor be present? etc. This would be a minimum for a state of right.
Your president is such a disgrace, how can anyone like that guy?

you now who is a disgrace people like you who compare waterboarding to killing little children you liberal cry babies are so blinded for all these terrorist and there helpers that you would rather see your own country men die before you break one of the finger nails bc he could cause infection and hurt them.
the problem is that germany lost its balls in ww2 and now would rather hide and let usa take care of the world problems and then blame us for all of them

[quote]hazarddude334 wrote:
100meters saying the most of the info was made up to be honest none of us will ever now bc the most important info is top secret and never given out to any random person and deff not someone who hates the miltary waterboarding only on three people i doubt that to prolly just said three to make people like you happy. we will truely never now if it works bc they wont tell us there true info. but how i see it take a look around at 20 year olds tell me if they were hungry confused tired and being waterboard they wouldnt spill there guts to make it stop.[/quote]

So take the side that you know nothing about and make us look stupid for believing what they tell us. It seems like people in support of so many bad policies just assume there must be something behind the scenes that they are not telling the public. In reality none of us know for sure, but to turn your head on the only thing we are being told is outrageous.