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U.S. President George W. Bush on Saturday vetoed legislation passed by Congress that would have banned the CIA from using waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques. Lawmakers included the anti-torture measure in a broader bill authorizing U.S. intelligence activities. "Because the danger remains, we need to ensure our intelligence officials have all the tools they need to stop the terrorists," Bush said in his weekly radio address. He added that the vetoed legislation "would diminish these vital tools."

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California said Democrats would try to overturn Bush's veto and said U.S. moral authority was at stake.

"We will begin to reassert that moral authority by attempting to override the president's veto next week," Pelosi said.

Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts called Bush's veto "one of the most shameful acts of his presidency."

It is unlikely that Democrats, the majority party in Congress, could muster enough votes to overturn Bush's veto. The bill passed the House and Senate on partisan votes, short of the support needed to reverse the president.

The House approved the legislation in December and the Senate passed it in February despite White House warnings it would be vetoed.

CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress last month that government interrogators used waterboarding on three suspects captured after the Sept. 11 attacks.

The simulated drowning technique has been condemned by many members of Congress, human rights groups and other countries as a form of illegal torture.

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