Durbin Anti-Torture Amendment Survives, Awaits Bush's Signature

Some good news. Last Friday, the conference on the Department of Defense authorization bill was completed and, after a difficult fight with the House, the Durbin anti-torture amendment survived virtually unchanged. On Saturday, the Senate and House approved the conference report and the bill was sent to the President for his signature. From a Durbin press release received today by e-mail:

Legislative language written by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) to affirm the United States’ commitment not to engage in torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment was approved as part of the Defense Authorization bill this weekend by the U.S. Senate. The amendment codifies a very important, long-standing position of our nation: that the United States shall not engage in torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. This is a standard that is embodied in the U.S. Constitution and in numerous international agreements which the United States has ratified.

Durbin’s provision would also require the Secretary of Defense to issue guidelines to ensure compliance with this standard and to provide these guidelines to Congress. The Defense Secretary would also be required to report to Congress on any suspected violations of the prohibition on torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. The Durbin language specifically provides that this information should be provided to Congress in a manner and form that would protect national security.

I'm also told that the anti-torture provision in the Intelligence Reform bill passed by the Senate last week extends the Durbin amendment’s requirements to the intelligence community, including the CIA.

Durbin and other Democrats will be fighting hard to retain these provisions in conference. When the conferee's names are released, I'll be posting them along with contact information.

< How You Know The Terrorists Won | Bush and Pentagon Statements At Odds With Soldiers' Accounts >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort: