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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

White House wants to exclude CIA from Torture ban

The bottom line on this is that the Bush administration is trying to change the framework on torture. This is presented as an exemption to a new law, when, in fact, it would be a tremendous expansion of what the CIA is currently allowed to do. Sorry, not too clear. This guy explains it a whole lot better.

The Bush administration has proposed exempting employees of the Central Intelligence Agency from a legislative measure endorsed earlier this month by 90 members of the Senate that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in U.S. custody.

The proposal, which two sources said Vice President Cheney handed last Thursday to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the company of CIA Director Porter J. Goss, states that the measure barring inhumane treatment shall not apply to counterterrorism operations conducted abroad or to operations conducted by "an element of the United States government" other than the Defense Department. ......

McCain, the principal sponsor of the legislation, rejected the proposed exemption at the meeting with Cheney, according to a government source who spoke without authorization and on the condition of anonymity.

By the way, I've got a list of the names of the senators who voted against the McCain amendment here. Crazy, Crooked Cornyn's there.

As to why this is important...

At least 21 detainees who died while being held in U.S. custody in Iraq and Afghanistan were killed, many during or after interrogations, according to an analysis of Defense Department data by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The analysis, released Monday, looked at 44 deaths described in records obtained by the ACLU. Of those, the group characterized 21 as homicides, and said at least eight resulted from abusive techniques by military or intelligence officers, such as strangulation or "blunt force injuries," as noted in the autopsy reports.

And lastly, I repeat this on every post about prisoner "abuse." The problem with torture is that you end up torturing innocent people. I don't know all the stories from Iraq, but there have been multiple occasions where the US has released detainees from Guantanamo to their home countries where they were subsequently released without charge. In the case of Britain, the four men told independent versions of similar incidents of torture at Guantanamo after they were released in Britain without charge. The US government tortured these men based on allegations that were untrue. They had to prove their innocence by undergoing torture.

How unAmerican is that?


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