Tuesday, October 25, 2005

No Exemptions From Torture Ban

Eric Schmitt writes in the NYTimes today that the White House is seeking to insert a Hummer-sized loophole into the Senate-passed (90-9, if you recall) McCain amendment prohibiting the use of "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment" of American-held prisoners.

Schmitt reports that in a meeting last Thursday, Vice President Cheney and CIA Director Porter Goss urged McCain to accept a change to his amendment exempting the CIA from its provisions - he cites "two government officials who were briefed on the meeting," but oddly could get no comment from the offices of those directly involved.

McCain rejected the exemption, Schmitt says - and rightly so. It would competely gut McCain's amendment, since the Defense Department could just "transfer" any prisoner it wanted to the CIA's control.

We must all stick tight to this; the conference committee may try and remove the measure, and there is White House-backed opposition on the House side. But this is too important to let go.


At 8:23 AM, Blogger Phil S said...

Cheney will do everything to pressure the conference committee to sidetrack that admendment. He and Rummy were in support of stronger tactics by the military in the first place.

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Carol Gee said...

Pardon my indelicacy, but this is a little like being pregnant--you either are or you aren't. The United States will either be principled about torture or not. There is no middle ground on this.


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