Mike Thompson Watch


Mike Thompson Seeks to Ban Waterboarding

(February 29, 2008)

I have to give Mike credit on this one. I hope the House of Representatives passes it and it becomes law. -- William P. Meyers

This is the release in its entirety:

Reps. Thompson, Eshoo Introduce Waterboarding Ban

February 14, 2008

WASHINGTON – Today Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA 14th), Chairwoman of the Intelligence Community Management Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, with Mike Thompson (D-CA 1st), Chairman of the Terrorism, Human Intelligence, Analysis and Counterintelligence Subcommittee, introduced a bill to ban waterboarding by the United States Government.

“It’s time to make a clear statement for the world to hear and understand, and for the Bush Administration to obey: Waterboarding is torture and Americans will not participate in it.

“For this reason, today we have introduced a bill to ban waterboarding once and for all. The bill makes clear that waterboarding is torture, and cannot be used by anyone in the United States government, including the CIA.

“As General David Petraeus stated: ‘What sets us apart from our enemies . . . is how we behave. In everything we do, we must observe the standards and values that dictate that we treat noncombatants and detainees with dignity and respect. While we are warriors, we are also all human beings.’

“Senator John McCain stated: ‘People who have worn the uniform and had the experience know that this is a terrible and odious practice and should never be condoned in the U.S. We are a better nation than that.’

“We agree. But the Bush Administration has consistently refused to take waterboarding off the table permanently, and that’s why it’s time for Congress to step in.

“Our bill will ban waterboarding once and for all. Anyone who waterboards in the future will be subject to criminal prosecution. Period.

“Criminalizing waterboarding is not a new policy for the United States. In 1947, the United States prosecuted a Japanese military officer for carrying out a form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian during the Second World War, securing a conviction and a sentence of 15 years of hard labor. The United States military has prosecuted American military personnel for subjecting prisoners to waterboarding, including sentencing a U.S. Army major to 10 years at hard labor for subjecting an insurgent to waterboarding in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.

“For those who might say that this bill will lead to the prosecution of officers who relied on the guidance of the Justice Department, we note that our bill is prospective.

“Now, from this day forward, let the world know that the United States of America will practice what it has always been revered for: Dignity, democracy and the rule of law.”

Contacts: Anne Warden (Thompson) at (202) 225-3311 or anne.warden@mail.house.gov, Jason Mahler (Eshoo) at (202) 225-8104 or jason.mahler@mail.house.gov

Thompson Watch Main Page

Mike Thompson is the current elected member of the United States House of Representatives for California's 1st Congressional District.