US President George Bush has defended his administration’s war on terrorism in the face of growing domestic criticism. It came a day after a Senate panel rejected planned legislation to allow the CIA to use tough interrogation methods on foreign terrorist suspects. “I believe that it’s vital that our folks on the frontline have the tools necessary to protect the American people. There are two vital pieces of legislation in Congress that I think are necessary to help us win the war on terror,” he said. Bush reacted forcefully when asked about former Secretary of State Colin Powell’s comments that the world was starting to question the moral basis of the war on terrorism: “I simply can’t accept that… it’s unacceptable to think that there’s any kind of comparison between the behaviour of the USA and the actions of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective,” he said.
Bush pledged to try to work with rebellious members of Congress over the treatment of foreign terrorism suspects. The Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday voted to endorse an alternative bill by a fellow Republican that, it is claimed, would better protect the rights of the suspects.