Monday, November 07, 2005

Bush administration wants authorization to torture prisoners

Both Amnesty International and the ACLU are running a campaign to support the McCain anti-torture amendment I blogged about recently. The amendment passed in the Senate (90-9), but is now being fought in the House, and a vote is expected soon. There's more at:
Amnesty International's Denounce Torture Blog

Why do Amnesty International and the ACLU feel the need to run a campaign to support an amendment banning torture? The title of an article in the New York Times says it all: "White House Seeks Exception in Abuse Ban"
"Stepping up a confrontation with the Senate over the handling of detainees, the White House is insisting that the Central Intelligence Agency be exempted from a proposed ban on abusive treatment of suspected Qaeda militants and other terrorists."
In other words, the White House is publicly saying that it wants the CIA to have the authority to torture people.

I can't believe it.

I am happy, however, that (according to this article) McCain is not letting the administration get away with this:
"The no-torture wording, which proponents say is supported by majorities in both houses of Congress, was included last month in the Senate's version of a defense spending bill. The measure's final form is being negotiated with the House, and the White House is pushing for either a rewording or deletion of the torture ban.

"At the urging of Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), the Senate by a voice vote added the ban to a related defense bill as a backup.

"Speaking from the Senate floor, Mr. McCain said, 'If necessary - and I sincerely hope it is not - I and the co-sponsors of this amendment will seek to add it to every piece of important legislation voted on in the Senate until the will of a substantial bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress prevails,' Mr. McCain said on the Senate floor. 'Let no one doubt our determination.'
I may not like everything McCain does, but I strongly support him in this.

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