April 1, 2008  

Unintelligent veto

TO PRESIDENT BUSH, for vetoing legislation that would have made it illegal for U.S. intelligence officials to use waterboarding in interrogations. Waterboarding and other torture contradict the Army’s “Soldier’s Rules” of ethical and lawful conduct: Do not harm enemies who surrender; do not kill or torture enemy prisoners of war. And, as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller correctly said, permitting the CIA to torture prisoners damages our national security by weakening America’s legal and moral authority. The Army’s new Operations Field Manual is clearer still: “Nothing emboldens enemy resistance like the belief that U.S. forces will kill or torture prisoners.” The Army is right; its commander in chief is wrong.