JCPA decries torture veto


The Jewish public policy umbrella said it was disappointed by President Bush’s veto of a law that would ban torture.

“We wish that the president had taken his opportunity to send the clear message to the people of the United States and of the world that we are serious about upholding our ban on torture,” the Jewish Council for Public Affairs said in a statement Monday. “We continue to support legislative efforts to ensure the humane treatment of all detainees in U.S. custody.”

The legislation passed last month in the U.S. Senate would have tightened existing anti-torture law by forcing all U.S. agencies to conform to the U.S. Army Field Manual. U.S. officials have acknowledged that the CIA has used waterboarding, a drowning simulation, in interrogations.

In his veto announcement Saturday, Bush said his concern with the legislation was “the need to maintain a separate CIA program that will shield from disclosure to al-Qaida and other terrorists the interrogation techniques they may face upon capture.”

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture, a coalition that includes the Reform movement, also condemned the veto.

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