Bush Declares: ‘We Do Not Torture’

PANAMA CITY, Panama — President Bush on Monday vigorously defended U.S. interrogation of suspected terrorists after the public disclosure of secret CIA prisoner camps in eastern European countries. “We do not torture,” he declared.

“There’s an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again,” Bush said. “So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law.”

Over White House opposition, the Senate has passed legislation banning torture. With Vice President Dick Cheney as the point man, the administration is seeking an exemption for the CIA. It was recently disclosed that the agency maintains a network of prisons in eastern Europe and Asia, where it holds terrorist suspects.

The European Union is investigating the reports, which have not been confirmed by the White House.

“Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people,” Bush said. “Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture.”

Bush pointedly noted that Congress as well as the White House has an obligation to protect U.S. citizens.

He spoke at a news conference with Panamanian President Martin Torrijos on last day of five-day Latin America trip. Bush was ending the day in Virginia, where he was to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Jerry Kilgore just ahead of Election Day.

On another issue, Bush ducked a question about the CIA leak investigation, declining to say whether he has lived up to his campaign pledge in 2000 to abide by the spirit of federal ethics laws.

“We take this investigation very seriously and we’ll continue to cooperate during the investigation,” he said.

Bush expressed his condolences to victims of a tornado that hit Indiana over the weekend.

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Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
AP, via The Washington Post, USA
Nov. 7, 2005
Deb Riechmann
www.washingtonpost.com

Religion News Blog posted this on Monday November 7, 2005.
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