The Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 (H.R. 2082) would have authorized funding levels for the 13 government intelligence agencies and increased oversight for the U.S. intelligence community. The bill would have also applied the standards in the U.S. Army Field Manual to the entire government, effectively barring the CIA and other agencies from using tactics like waterboarding in their interrogations. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D, TX-16).
Among the techniques the field manual prohibits are:
The bill was vetoed by President Bush and did not receive enough votes for an override.
- hooding prisoners or putting duct tape across their eyes.
- stripping prisoners naked.
- forcing prisoners to perform or mimic sexual acts.
- beating, burning or physically hurting them in other ways.
- subjecting prisoners to hypothermia or mock executions.
“Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists,” he said.At that point, along with most of the nation, GW Bush quit being my president. His approval ratings dropped to 25% and did little recovery on his way out of the door.
The idea that he was perhaps not as bright as we would have liked, or that he was not as effective, or that he jumped into war too quickly, the WMD problem, the Patriot Act.. all of it, the nation could look over or find a way of dealing with it -- but the blatant proof that we had, for a president, a man who could not give up the possibility of needing to be able to beat, cut, rape and torture someone, sickened us. There was no denial possible. He told us that he needed to be able to torture.
In his memoir Decision Points, George W. Bush admitted that he enthusiastically authorized certain detainees to be waterboarded – or tortured. When asked if he would authorize the torture of one detainee, former U.S. president Bush declared “Damn right!” The release of Bush’s memoir coincided with reports that no one will face criminal charges for the destruction of CIA videotapes which contained interrogations using waterboarding.
Two days after Barack Obama became president he issued an executive order ordering the CIA to apply the standards of the U.S. Army Field Manual.
"Thing I’m waiting for is for the administration to go back and correct something they said two years ago when they criticized us for “overreacting” to the events of 9/11. They, in effect, said that we had walked away from our ideals, or taken policy contrary to our ideals, when we had enhanced- interrogation techniques. Now they clearly have moved in the direction of taking robust action when they feel it is justified. I say, in this case I think it was, but I think they need to go back and reconsider what the president said when he was in Cairo."