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Letter: Questions U.S. torture policy

President Bush recently vetoed the Intelligence Authorization Bill that would prevent the CIA and other U.S. agencies from using "techniques" such as water-boarding, sexual humiliation, dogs, induced hypothermia and forced prolonged, stressful positions. Surprisingly, when vetoing this legislation he stated that, "The United States does not torture." One wonders, what else could this be?

It has been well documented that this type of interrogation leads to far more inaccurate than helpful information. This policy creates even more terrorists when citizens around the world learn of our actions. Our soldiers are placed at greater risk when captured, innocent victims are isolated and tortured without recourse to legal assistance, and those responsible for ordering or carrying out these procedures are not held accountable.

How can this happen in a democracy? Is it possible that denial, lack of empathy and apathy, fueled by our fear of terrorists, has led us to condone this behavior that violates the human rights and compassionate religious values that we uphold as Americans? If we do not recognize the nature of this dysfunctional response, where are we are headed as individuals and as a nation?

For further information, please consult the National Religious Campaign Against Torture which represents over 130 religious groups of all denominations,