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Faith groups mount campaign against torture

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President Bush vetoed the bill in March, and Congress was unable to override the veto. But the Senate intelligence committee voted last week to try again, this time in the 2009 intelligence spending bill.

Meanwhile, a Justice Department official revealed in a letter to Congress last week that secret rules for CIA interrogations may allow even more latitude to interrogators than was indicated in a presidential executive order last summer, stirring more outcries.

The campaign is calling on Americans to sign a statement of conscience that torture is a moral issue and that such practices should be abolished, without exceptions. Some 25,000 individuals have signed the statement so far.

"The belief in human dignity leads people to reject practices such as slavery, genocide, and rape. Are exceptions made for those practices?" Mr. Killmer asks. "I put torture in the same category."

Others involved say that authorizing any form of torture trusts government too much. Not only does such interrogation not produce reliable information, many say, but it also endangers the nation's character.

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