ABC’s Karen Travers Reports: President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 this morning in the East Room, calling it "one of the most important pieces of legislation in the war on terror."
The President said he signed the bill in memory of the victims of Sept. 11. "This nation will call evil by its name. We will answer brutal murder with patient justice. Those who kill the innocent will be held to account."
In his remarks, he spoke extensively about the CIA interrogation program and said that was his one test for the legislation Congress presented him – it had to allow the CIA interrogation to continue.
"Put simply, this program has been one of the most vital tools in our war against the terrorists. It’s been invaluable both for America and our allies," Bush said. "Were it not for this program, our intelligence community believes that Al Qaida and its allies would have succeeded in launching another attack against the American homeland."
President Bush said that by allowing the CIA program to continue, "this bill is preserving a tool that has saved American lives."
The President acknowledged the heated political debate over this bill and while he didn’t call out the Democrats that voted against it, he did say that the Members of Congress who voted for the bill "helped our nation rise to the task that history has given us."
"Some voted to support this bill even when the majority of their party voted the other way. I thank the legislators who brought this bill to my desk for their conviction, for their vision and for their resolve."