Monday, March 10, 2008

Waterboarding Ban Vetoed (Follow that?)

President Bush followed through on his threat to veto a bill that would have banned the CIA from using waterboarding, electrocution, beatings and other violent forms of torture. It would have allowed the 19 interrogation techniques currently approved for military questioners.

Thumbs up to Diane Feinstein and all others who will continue pushing for this legislation.

As reported here earlier, waterboarding "involves strapping a person down and pouring water over his or her cloth-covered face to simulate and create the sensation of drowning. It has been traced back hundreds of years to the Spanish Inquisition and is condemned by nations around the world and human rights organizations as torture" (Bush vetoes bill banning waterboarding, AP/, 8 Mar 2008).

The article continues, "Some argue it must be banned because, if torture, it is illegal under international and U.S. law. The Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 includes a provision barring cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment for all detainees in U.S. custody, including CIA prisoners, and many believe that covers waterboarding.

"Others say that, even if legal, there are practical arguments against waterboarding: that its use would undermine the U.S. when arguing overseas for human rights and on other moral issues and would place Americans at greater risk of being tortured when captured." [full CNN article]

This reminds me of Isaiah chapter 1 where God is confessing his weariness with all the religious meetings and rituals when what he's really after is justice (v. 10-17). I can just hear him saying to us, "I'm sick of your endless preaching on TV shows, at conferences and in your megachurches. I don't want to hear any more of it until you abolish torture!"

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