House Votes to Ban Harsh Interrogation Methods

The House of Representatives today passed a bill outlawing harsh interrogation methods.

The measure, approved by a largely party-line vote of 222 to 199, would require U.S. intelligence agencies to follow Army rules adopted last year that explicitly forbid waterboarding and require interrogators to adhere to a strict interpretation of the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war. The rules, required by Congress for all Defense Department personnel, also ban sexual humiliation, "mock" executions and the use of attack dogs, and prohibit the withholding of food and medical care.

President Bush said he'd veto the bill, which now goes to the Senate. In related news, the ACLU wrote the Senate today (letter here, pdf)listing ten reasons why a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate the CIA's destruction of interrogation tapes.

Although the destruction of evidence that was sought by courts, Congress, and the 9/11
Commission raises serious questions of possible criminal obstruction of justice, the reported content of the tapes raises even more serious questions of potentially far more serious crimes.
It is time for a prosecutor to look at the complete picture of misconduct over the past six years.

...."Prosecutors should look beyond these videotapes and investigate the bigger problem of roughly six years of unpunished torture crimes. The range of alleged crimes is breathtaking in its scope, from obstruction of justice to torture to homicide. But because the torture program involved top officials in the White House, CIA, Justice Department, and Defense Department, only an independent prosecutor who can act outside the influence and control of this Administration can be trusted."

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    Veto (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by glanton on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:35:34 AM EST
    President Bush said he'd veto the bill

    But of course.

    It's pretty sad when the leading moral voice of your party is Lindsay Graham.  To what depths have they sunk.

    uh huh (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Jen M on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:29:17 AM EST
    "we don't torture we don't torture. Wait -- if make a bill illegalizing it I will veto it"

    i understand, (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by cpinva on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:40:17 AM EST
    if this works out well, congress will next start to work on legislation to outlaw the "rule of thumb", which allows a husband to beat his wife, with a stick no larger in circumfrence than his thumb.

    my guess, bush will threaten to veto that also.

    Pelosi (none / 0) (#11)
    by Wile ECoyote on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 10:31:41 AM EST
    agreed with the rule of thumb method before she was against it.

    Yet another (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by glanton on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:12:38 PM EST
    Ignorant troll meme.

    From: Gore uses electricity and flies on a jet, so let's talk about that and do nothing about the environment.

    To: Some Democrats joined the GOP in looking the other way on torture, so let's talk about that and keep torturing.


    tehe (1.00 / 1) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:35:57 PM EST
    In this the case person is the House Majority leader who, unfortunately, third in line to be President.

    Worse, she has never mentioned what she knew while letting her leftie base rant.

    You've been used, Glanton.

    Have the backbone to at least be angry over it.


    Used? Angry? (none / 0) (#27)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:18:09 PM EST
    Some anger, but mostly just nausea and sadness at the spectacle of so many Americans proving themselves ignorant blights of skin who favor torture.

    As far as being used, you write as though I were a partisan Democrat who thinks the leadership of that party is a bunch of really swell people.  I only vote for them because they're less dangerous, by far, than the alternative.  

    After all, compared to you people, there's a helluva lot less of them favoring torture.


    Huh? (1.00 / 1) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:39:54 PM EST
    I only vote for them because they're less dangerous, by far, than the alternative

    Strange, that's why I voted for Bush.


    And when he signs off on torture (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:53:21 PM EST
    It's in your name too.

    I invite you to (1.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 04:34:43 PM EST
    read the comments between synico and me for an understand of my position.

    Your continuing belief in a "yes-no" universe and inaccurate claims about what I do or do not believe has led me to believe that you are really incapable of a reasonable discussion.


    Yes-No Universes (and thanks for all the fish) (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 04:43:54 PM EST
    Your comments with synico are more of the same of what we have been seeing from you. Justification and blind belief.

    In those posts, as in many others of yours, ignorance and moral emptiness drip off of your prose in thick gobs.

    So long and thanks for all the fish, thou moral and intellectual parasite mouthing something about "reasonable discussion" with respect to whether or not the American government should have license to torture


    Hehehehe (1.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 10:10:26 PM EST
    A thinking man's cartoon (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by glanton on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 10:22:19 PM EST
    No doubt.

    From now on, all they have to do is say "9/11", and anything's a go with the frightened little lemmings.  

    Just remember.  You are one who salutes torture.  


    Say goodnight Glanton (1.00 / 1) (#36)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Dec 16, 2007 at 09:12:47 AM EST
    Yeah, who would want to protect all those little Eichmans???

    They deserve it, right??

    And if they have to die to make you feel good about your "ethics," so what. Right??

    Tell me, Glanton. What is ethical about not scaring some terrorist for 35 seconds and obtaining information to prevent an attack?


    On Ignorance and Ticking Time Bombs (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by glanton on Sun Dec 16, 2007 at 11:36:03 AM EST
    Your reference to Eichmans is ignorant.  You wear it well.

    Your ticking time bomb rhetoric is  scare tactic according to which indecent people think.  You wear that well also.

    Use all the petty little euphemisms, link to all the sheep-clothed fascists you want.  It's all one big arrow pointing to you as you salute torture.


    A good'un (1.00 / 0) (#13)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 11:57:31 AM EST
    Many of you don't remember the Church (1.00 / 1) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 07:00:00 AM EST
    Committee, chaired by Democratic Senator Frank Church. Held in the early 70's its supposed purpose was to rein in the CIA.

    Like most roads to hell this one was paved with good intentions. The fixing of the supposed problems really started the trend towards not depending on agents on the ground in country towards electronic intercepts and "analysis" by people in Langley.

    It was compounded by directions to not use "criminals and bad elements." Of course people who are willing to spy on their own country are either converts are very bad people.

    We saw the first results in December '79 when the fruits of Carter's stupid foreign policy resulted in the radical Moslems seizing our embassy in Iran and establishing a theocracy that now has 1200 KM rockets and is working to put nukes on them

    (No, I don't believe the latest NIE.)

    And of course we have the failed intelligence that started the Iraq invasion.

    It is said that a giraffe is an animal designed by a committee. Congress needs to butt out of the intelligence business before it adds a fifth leg and wings.

    It's too bad. (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by executedtoday on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 07:18:19 AM EST
    If only we'd had a client state in Iran empowered to torture, none of that would have happened.

    It's torture for you, isn't it ppj... (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:02:47 AM EST
    To be, through your own conscious choice, on the wrong side of history, morality, reality, and society. To be a pariah.

    You made your bed. Be proud of it...


    Funny (5.00 / 3) (#6)
    by tnthorpe on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:35:24 AM EST
    PPJ wants Congress out of the business of passing laws on torture, yet in other threads he cries that Congress needs to pass laws to clarify exactly what torture is. What a tangled web he's weaved.

    In the meantime he blames Carter!?!?!?!, which is some serious Bush Sycophancy Syndrome, late stages I'd say.


    he blames Carter (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:43:56 AM EST
    As a trolling and baiting tactic. He's purposely and intentionally ignoring history again, to dishonestly try to put the blame on Carter for something that began in 1953.

    IOW, purposely and intentionally lying to draw responses.


    Bingo (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by tnthorpe on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 09:56:57 AM EST
    I mean, let's not forget the overthrow of a democratically elected government in Iran.

    In the meantime, NPR has this to say about the history of waterboarding.
    From this article: Stephen Rickard, Washington director of the Open Society Institute, says that throughout the centuries, the justifications for using waterboarding have been remarkably consistent.

    "Almost every time this comes along, people say, 'This is a new enemy, a new kind of war, and it requires new techniques,'" he says. "And there are always assurances that it is carefully regulated."


    To judge from firsthand documents obtained (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by Edger on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 10:15:42 AM EST
    ...by the ACLU through a FOIA lawsuit, we can guess what is probably on the missing CIA interrogation tapes -- as well as understand why those implicated are spinning so hard to pretend the tapes do not document a series of evident crimes. According to the little-noticed but extraordinarily important book  Administration of Torture: A Documentary Record from Washington to Abu Ghraib and Beyond (Jameel Jaffer and Amrit Singh, Columbia University Press, New York 2007), which presents dozens of original formerly secret documents - FBI emails and memos, letters and interrogator "wish lists," raw proof of the systemic illegal torture of detainees in various US-held prisons -- the typical "harsh interrogation" of a suspect in US custody reads like an account of abuses in archives at Yad Vashem.
     What we are likely to see if the tapes documenting the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and Abd Al-Rahim Al-Nashiri are ever recovered is that the "confessions" of the prisoners upon which the White House has built its entire case for subverting the Constitution and suspending civil liberties in this country was obtained through methods such as electrocution, beating to the point of organ failure, hanging prisoners from the wrists from a ceiling, suffocation, and threats against family members ("I am going to find your mother and I am going to fu*k her" is one direct quote from a US interrogator). On the missing tapes, we would likely see responses from the prisoners that would be obvious to us as confessions to anything at all in order to end the violence. In other words, if we could witness the drama of manufacturing by torture the many violently coerced "confessions" upon which the whole house of cards of this White House and its hyped "war on terror" rests, it would likely cause us to reopen every investigation, including the most serious ones (remember, even the 9/11 committee did not receive copies of the tapes); shut down the corrupt, Stalinesque Military Commissions System; turn over prisoners, the guilty and the innocent, into a working, accountable justice system operating in accordance with American values; and direct our legal scrutiny to the torturers themselves -- right up to the office of the Vice President and the President if that is where the investigations would lead.

    By the way: "The prohibition against torture [in the law] is considered to be a jus cogens norm, meaning that no derogation is permitted from it under any circumstances."

    What Is Probably in the Missing Tapes
    Naomi Wolf, Huffpo, December 13, 2007

    Ah, the irony (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Dadler on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 10:35:43 AM EST
    Interesting that Truman, who dropped two nukes on Japan, wouldn't help the British overthrow the democratically elected Iranian government; but Mr. Beware of the Military Industrial Complex would.  Perhaps his role in it is what helped Eisenhower realize the evil folly of such enterprises and their support by the MI complex.  Or, more likely, like all of us, he was a messed guy and a tangle of contradictions.

    Really? (1.00 / 1) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:10:08 PM EST
    Remember. You wrote this:

    The facts remain
    (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by Edger on Thu Sep 13, 2007 at 12:23:42 AM EST

    which you conveniently ignore, that 1) before the invasion Iraq was one of the most advanced societies  on earth,

    When I read your comments I don't know whether to laugh or cry..

    Most advanced......hehehehehehe


    No road to Hell (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 01:02:38 PM EST
    "paved with good intentions" like the one that, for yet to be adequately explained reasons, allowed the most unhinged assclowns of the Right -- such as the ones that concocted schemes like Operation Northwoods -- to have a hand in guiding U.S foreign policy during the Cold War.

    Overthrowing progressive, democratically elected leaders in geopolitically sensitive areas such as Iran in the fifties and in the Carribean and Latin America in the fifties, sixties and seventies; in the interest of short term "interests" fed by the sort of still rampant, galloping Jack D. Ripper paranoia -- like the kind that "dosnt believe the NIE" -- is the legacy of folly and delusion that lead to inescapable conclusion that increased oversight and review were needed.


    Your progressive (1.00 / 1) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 08:25:54 PM EST
    leader was expected to give the Soviets a warm water port.

    Try real hard and someday you may understand the significance of that.

    Naw. Never. You aint that smart.


    Your progression of delusion (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 10:45:56 AM EST
    is approaching the far side of pathetic.

    Substantiate your "was expected" b.s or put a sock in it.



    And some actual intelligence (5.00 / 0) (#19)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 01:27:57 PM EST
    Many of you dont remember the Church (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 04:40:47 PM EST
    of Latterday Wingnuts and the type of regimes they think the U.S should supprt as part of our commitment to spreading freedom and Democracy, such as the regime of the Shah of Iran, described in the seventies by Amnesty International as "having the highest rate of death penalties in the world, no valid court system and a history of torture which is beyond belief."

    Now, overthrowing Mossedeqe and propping up the Shah, that was smart policy.


    Nope (1.00 / 1) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:10:09 PM EST
    That was very smart policy.

    It was the stupidity of Carter's policy that established a terrorists regime that has been the example of all the nut cases in the ME.

    Jimmy is the Grandaddy of'em all.

    That is unless you think it would have been good for the Soviets to have a warm water port in the 50's, 60's and through the 70's.


    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:22:40 PM EST
    You're as fos and, or, as historically challenged as I thought you were: If you have any evidence that the democratically elected Mossedeqe was cooperating with the Soviets, provide it.

    Your support for CERTAIN brutal, totalitarian govts defines you and makes a laughing stock of your disengenuous rationale for the Iraq invasion and gleeful hopes for war with Iran.


    With friends like you (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by jondee on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 01:24:06 PM EST
    this country dosnt need enemies.

    heh (1.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 03:38:11 PM EST
    I may be fos but you are either dumber than dirt or else you have no education regarding the Soviet intent and desires.

    Just look at a globe and see the location of Iran.

    Google warm water port Iran Soviets..

    But I do understand that you have no sense of geopolitics, and since you have evidenced no distrust of the Soviets, I can see why you react in such an ignorant manner.


    "No education regarding Soviet.." (5.00 / 0) (#39)
    by jondee on Mon Dec 17, 2007 at 01:47:40 PM EST
    Yes, I was banned from the John Birch Reading Room years ago. So much the worse for me.

    Found anything in the actual, historical record yet to back up your claims? The everything was fine till "the Left" (Jimmy Carter?) contaminated our precious bodily fluids tack may fly on wingnut
    radio, but here you have to substantaiate your claims a little better.


    Ah, the boys and girls are spinning (1.00 / 1) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 12:07:05 PM EST
    tnthorpe - You continue to be unable to grasp two concepts are the same time.

    Asking people to define what they are against has nothing to do with Congress. In fact, I would think a reasoning US Citzien would demand that Congress define what it wants to ban.

    dadler - Are you channeling Ike?? I'm not, but I believe he wanted a pro US government in Iran to deny the Soviets a warm water port.

    Of course it (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by jondee on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 01:12:01 PM EST
    was the Soviet octopus, with it's tentacles everywhere, that was to blame.

    Obviously you people never read Terry and the Pirates and Capt America, or you'd know that.

    And again, it had nothing whatsoever to do with the anti-Soviet Mossedeqe attempting to nationalize the oil companies operating in Iran.

    That's all left wing propaganda.


    Let Bush VETO (none / 0) (#20)
    by MSS on Fri Dec 14, 2007 at 03:30:23 PM EST
    Please, Democrats in Congress -- pass the legislation we want to see, and let Bush VETO EVERYTHING.

    Look how bad it looks now as Bush vetoes the Child Health initiative.

    Give Bush more to veto -- and give us something to respect about Democrats in Congress.

    Nancy Pelosi (none / 0) (#33)
    by Edger on Sat Dec 15, 2007 at 05:20:04 PM EST
    abstained from voting on this bill.