“Mr. Speaker, I rise in somewhat reluctant support of this vote to override the President’s veto of H.R. 2062, the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008. Although I voted against this authorization when it first came to the floor, the main issue has now become whether we as a Congress are to condone torture as official U.S. policy or whether we will speak out against it. This bill was vetoed by the President because of a measure added extending the prohibition of the use of any interrogation treatment or technique not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations to the U.S. intelligence community. Opposing this prohibition is tantamount to endorsing the use of torture against those in United States Government custody.
“Mr. Speaker, we have all read the disturbing reports of individuals apprehended and taken to secret prisons maintained by the United States Government across the globe, tortured for months or even years, and later released without charge. Khaled al-Masri, for example, a German citizen, has recounted the story of his incarceration and torture by U.S. intelligence in a secret facility in Afghanistan. His horror was said to be simply a case of mistaken identity. We do not know how many more similar cases there may be, but clearly it is not in the interest of the United States to act in a manner so contrary to the values upon which we pride ourselves.
“My vote to override the President’s veto is a vote to send a clear message that I do not think the United States should be in the business of torture. It is anti-American, immoral and counterproductive.”8:18 am on March 12, 2008 Email Llewellyn H. Rockwell, Jr.