House Sustains Waterboarding Veto; Democrats' Override of Bill on Ban Fails 225-188

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Byline: Sean Lengell, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

The House yesterday sustained a White House veto on an intelligence bill that called for banning the CIA from using the interrogation technique known as waterboarding.

Republicans said the measure would have significantly compromised national security. Democrats, who crafted the bill, said torture is not an effective intelligence-gathering method and is morally wrong.

The measure to override the veto was defeated by a vote of 225-188, falling about 50 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass. Five Republicans voted to overturn President Bush's veto, while three Democrats voted to sustain it.

"This bill is just the latest example of the complete and utter failure of this Democratic leadership in the House to give the intelligence community the tools that it needs to protect the American people and our allies from radical jihadists," said Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

Supporters of the legislation said it would have preserved the intelligence community's ability to collect critical information while raising the moral standing of the United States.

"The prohibition on torture that the president vetoed protected our values, protected our military and diplomatic personnel, and protected Americans by ensuring accurate intelligence," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat. "Our ability to lead the world will depend not only on our military might but also on our moral authority. …