President Bush on Saturday further cemented his legacy of fighting for strong executive powers, using his veto to shut down a Congressional effort to limit the Central Intelligence Agency’s latitude to subject terrorism suspects to harsh interrogation techniques.
Mr. Bush vetoed a bill that would have explicitly prohibited the agency from using interrogation methods like waterboarding, a technique in which restrained prisoners are threatened with drowning and that has been the subject of intense criticism at home and abroad. Many such techniques are prohibited by the military and law enforcement agencies.
Mr. Bush announced the veto in the usual format of his weekly radio address, which is distributed to stations across the country each Saturday. 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, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists,” he said.
This is not surprising, really, but important to note (related).
Recently uncovered evidence shows that at the highest level of American leadership there were plans to spark Palestinian civil war. Read more in Vanity Fair’s The Gaza Bombshell: Politics & Power:
After failing to anticipate Hamas’s victory over Fatah in the 2006 Palestinian election, the White House cooked up yet another scandalously covert and self-defeating Middle East debacle: part Iran-contra, part Bay of Pigs. With confidential documents, corroborated by outraged former and current U.S. officials, David Rose reveals how President Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and Deputy National-Security Adviser Elliott Abrams backed an armed force under Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, touching off a bloody civil war in Gaza and leaving Hamas stronger than ever.
If we expect leaders of other nations to be held to international law, we should expect the same scrutiny for our own leaders. I would love to see the lot of them facing a tribunal in The Hague; there must be some kind of consequences for these types of actions, some kind of justice.
The US House of Representatives has approved a bill that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation techniques such as simulated drowning.
The measure would require intelligence agencies to follow the rules adopted by the US Army, which forbid such methods, and to abide by the Geneva Conventions.
President George Bush has threatened to veto the bill if the Senate passes it.
As presidents go, Bush has been one of the most sparing in his use of the veto. So he must only use it when it really matters, when it’s vital to our nation’s interests that Congress doesn’t mess something up really bad. Let’s take a look at the list so far: Continue reading →
After 27 years as a science teacher and 9 years as the Texas Education Agency’s director of science, Christine Castillo Comer said she did not think she had to remain “neutral” about teaching the theory of evolution.
“It’s not just a good idea; it’s the law,” said Ms. Comer, citing the state’s science curriculum.
But now Ms. Comer, 56, of Austin, is out of a job, after forwarding an e-mail message on a talk about evolution and creationism — “a subject on which the agency must remain neutral,” according to a dismissal letter last month that accused her of various instances of “misconduct and insubordination” and of siding against creationism and the doctrine that life is the product of “intelligent design.”
I honestly can’t believe people are still having this so-called “debate.” On the one hand, you have a theory based on sound science. On the other, you have an unprovable philosophy based on reasoning and faith, having nothing to do with science. One of those belongs in a science classroom, and one doesn’t. No one should have to remain impartial about that.