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Spiritual Protest Over Torture Veto in Washington DC

DC Spiritual Leaders Protest Torture Veto

Members and supporters of the Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture dressed as detainees yesterday during a demonstration orchestrated to "demand Congressional action to stop torture" on Capitol Hill. President Bush's veto of HR 2082 over the weekend — a bill that would prohibit all US intelligence agencies, including the CIA, from subjecting detainees to waterboarding, stress positions, hypothermia, and other forms of torture — was at the center of their protest.
The protest calls attention to broader spiritual concerns that reach beyond the walls of the Pentagon. The faith-based group says that torture "violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions hold dear." In his veto of the "anti-torture" bill, President Bush was careful to point out that he wasn't vetoing in favor of a specific technique like waterboarding, but rather because of the need for secrecy surrounding our techniques. To see what he said,

. Bush said,

Section 327 of the bill would harm our national security by requiring any element of the Intelligence Community to use only the interrogation methods authorized in the Army Field Manual on Interrogations . . . My disagreement over section 327 is not over any particular interrogation technique; for instance, it is not over waterboarding, which is not part of the current CIA program. Rather, my concern is the need to maintain a separate CIA program that will shield from disclosure to al Qaeda and other terrorists the interrogation techniques they may face upon capture.

The "spiritually-rooted" ceremony drew attention to the broader reaching faith-based concerns over tactics of war. Does President Bush have an obligation to publicly oppose methods like waterboarding? Do you agree with his reasoning behind the veto? Can a coalition of the faithful inspire different thinking about the way we think about war?

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phatE phatE 8 years
matdredalia calm down and to everyone else.. IMO there's a balance.. there have been some pretty unbelievable acts of torture used, and i think the same outcome could have come from less harsh means. however, i don't think eliminating are ability to do what it takes to keep the US safe is the best idea.. if you look back, this isn't a new concept.. you can quote the declaration of independence all you want, but this is something that dates back 1,000 of years.
Matdredalia Matdredalia 8 years
It never ceases to amaze me that one jerk can veto the vote of hundreds of elected officials. The United States was founded on two documents: The Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution... Now, the constitution specifically states that we have "freedom from cruel and unusual punishments". Now, some would argue this applies only to American citizens, but that's where the Declaration comes in: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" -- If all men are created equal, then I believe that means every person there is, regardless of nationality. Bush is a disgrace to this country and once again he's proven that he cares nothing for the welfare of the American people or what our country once stood for, but only his personal agenda.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Just because other countries torture, doesn't mean that we need to condone it or follow suit. There are plenty of horrific practices common to other countries and regions that we do not share. In my opinion, torture should be one of them. America has long positioned itself as a moral leader on the world stage; denouncing the practice of torture would be a significant and consistent act with that position.
stephley stephley 8 years
Can you show where torturing anyone has saved 3,000 lives? The United States has long issued annual condemnations of countries that tortured - how is what we're doing different, or when did we all decide that torture was ok?
brookrene brookrene 8 years
i agree laurelm, disclosing what we do is only feeding our enemies. That being said, i dont care if we torture them or not. If it means we save 3,000 lives, i'm all for it. Besides, does anyone think the rest of the world will stop torturing captives from america or elsewhere just because we wont torture them? Yeah right.
stephley stephley 8 years
Why would we possibly be better off not knowing that our government is torturing people? Look back in history: not knowing is not protection. The U.S. has not been a nation that condoned torture up until now. We very aggressively punished individuals and nations that tortured our people in the past. Why have we decided now that it's ok? It does not make us safe. Terrorists are not going to refrain from attacking for fear of being waterboarded.
laurelm laurelm 8 years
I think disclosing all methods is a threat to natural security. Change the bill to read differently in which it we can still prevent torture, but to disclose everything is helping our enemies and is foolish. Frankly, there are things the public is better off not knowing.
stephley stephley 8 years
I cannot come to terms with the fact that in the United States we now regularly discuss torture and our use of it. Our national security does not depend on us keeping secret whether we now violate rules that we once supported and encouraged. Torture does not keep us safe, it makes us exactly what we claim we despise.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
It's always seemed to me that what Bush Jr. really wants to shield from disclosure are all the violations of the Geneva conventions carried out under his administration's command.
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