Senate Votes to Ban Waterboarding
By a vote of 51 to 45 today, the Senate voted to ban waterboarding.
The prohibition was contained in a bill authorizing intelligence activities for the current year, which the Senate approved on a 51-45 vote. It would restrict the CIA to the 19 interrogation techniques outlined in the Army field manual. That manual prohibits waterboarding, a method that makes an interrogation subject feel he is drowning.
The House adopted the provision back in December. Bush has threatened to veto the bill.
As I wrote yesterday, Hillary Clinton wrote Bush Monday and urged him to withdraw his veto threat.
Today Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin and other senior Democratic Senators wrote to Bush and called on him to revise his Executive Order on CIA interrogation to comply with our treaty obligations and to prohibit explicitly a number of torture techniques that the Administration has used. The Senators wrote: [More...]
“The failure of the Executive Order to clarify what interrogation techniques the CIA can and cannot lawfully use under Common Article 3 could put U.S. personnel at risk of violating the Geneva Conventions and of being subjected to abusive treatment if detained by enemy forces. We urge you to revise the Executive Order to comply with the plain language of Common Article 3.”
Other signatories are Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, Foreign Relations Chairman Joe Biden, Senator Ted Kennedy, and the three “crossover” members of the Intelligence and Judiciary Committees, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Russ Feingold, and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse.
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