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Students explain why they handed Bush letter urging ban on torture
David Edwards and Mike Sheehan
Published: Tuesday June 26, 2007
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While meeting with a group of high school seniors from the Presidential Scholars program in the East Room of the White House, President Bush received an unexpected surprise: a letter signed by 50 of them urging Bush to halt "violations of the human rights" of terror suspects held by the United States.

According to the Associated Press, "The White House says Bush did not expect the letter but took a moment to read it and talk with a young woman who'd handed it to him."

White House spokesman Dana Perino said Bush let the student know "the United States does not torture and that we value human rights," a statement seemingly contradicted by Bush's signing statement which gave him power to largely ignore a Congressional ban on torture spearheaded by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

In the following CNN video, three of the seniors who met with the president discuss the event. The designation of Presidential Scholar is among the nation's highest honors for high school grads, with the honorees traveling to Washington for lectures and seminars, the AP reports.