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Torture Ban

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"Torture Ban"

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Reps. Delahunt and Nadler sent me a press release hailing the decision to include their legislative language extending the congressional prohibition on torture to the CIA in the House and Senate Conference Report on the Intelligence Authorization bill for 2008:

“We need policies that reflect our respect for basic human rights. Waterboarding and other acts of torture are not only ineffective interrogation techniques but are contrary to American core values,” Rep. Delahunt said. “We must make it clear that the use of torture is wrong and will not be condoned.”

“America’s values and our respect for the rule of law must be reaffirmed,” said Rep. Nadler. “Torture, including practices like waterboarding, violates the legal and moral standards of all civilized nations. While the notion that torture works has been glorified in television shows and movies, the simple truth is this: torture has never been an effective interrogation method. We must stand for the principles that define this nation and clarify in the law that we will not torture.”

The Nadler-Delahunt bill, H.R. 4114, the American Anti-Torture Act of 2007, would extend the first part of the McCain Amendment, which requires the Department of Defense to comply with the interrogation standards set forth in the Army Field Manual, to all government agencies. This would include the CIA – the agency reportedly responsible for carrying out the Administration’s “enhanced” or “alternate” interrogation program and for operating secret overseas prisons.

I agree. Both Representatives have done excellent work on this issue, and the leadership is to be congratulated on moving forward with it. A presidential veto is all-but-certain and we’ll see where Bush’s values lie when he blocks intelligence funding in order to preserve his legal right to order people tortured.

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