Scott Galindez: Remove All Torturers from
Remove All Torturers from Power
By Scott Galindez
t r u t h o u t | Perspective
Monday 10 October 2005
The Bush administration and those who support the Iraq war frequently justify it by saying that Saddam Hussein tortured his people. They say that Iraq is better off without him. I agree that Saddam needed to go, but with the reports from Abu Graib and other US run prisons it is clear that the Iraqi people are still being tortured.
Last week the Senate voted 90-9 on an amendment requiring humane treatment of detainees in US custody. The nine Senators who voted against this amendment need their power stripped as well. They are Senators Allard (CO), Bond (MO), Coburn (OK), Cochran (MS), Cornyn (TX), Inhofe (OK), Roberts (KS), Sessions (AL), and Stevens (AK).
Now we hear that George W. Bush is threatening to veto the defense bill if this amendment is still attached. So is that the noble cause our soldiers are dying for? The right to torture Iraqis?
We also hear that Dick Cheney and Karl Rove are twisting arms in the House to attempt to kill the anti-torture amendment. Where is the outrage? Why aren't all Americans demanding that the McCain Amendment be signed into law?
This amendment should have passed with a unanimous consent request in both the House and the Senate. Anyone opposing it is unfit to serve the American people. They deserve to have their power stripped just like Saddam.
Text of Amendment
SA 1977. Mr. MCCAIN (for himself, Mr. GRAHAM, Mr. HAGEL, Mr. SMITH, and Ms. COLLINS) submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill H.R. 2863, making appropriations for the Department of Defense for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2006, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
At the appropriate place, insert the following:
SEC. __. UNIFORM STANDARDS FOR THE INTERROGATION OF PERSONS UNDER THE DETENTION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.
(a) IN GENERAL.-No person in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense or under detention in a Department of Defense facility shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by and listed in the United States Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation. (b) APPLICABILITY.-Subsection (a) shall not apply to with respect to any person in the custody or under the effective control of the Department of Defense pursuant to a criminal law or immigration law of the United States. (c) CONSTRUCTION.-Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the rights under the United States Constitution of any person in the custody or under the physical jurisdiction of the United States.
SEC. __. PROHIBITION ON CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT OF PERSONS UNDER CUSTODY OR CONTROL OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.
(a) In General.-No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.
(b) Construction.-Nothing in this section shall be construed to impose any geographical limitation on the applicability of the prohibition against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment under this section. (c) Limitation on Supersedure.-The provisions of this section shall not be superseded, except by a provision of law enacted after the date of the enactment of this Act which specifically repeals, modifies, or supersedes the provisions of this section. (d) Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment Defined.-In this section, the term "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" means the cruel, unusual, and inhumane treatment or punishment prohibited by the Fifth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, as defined in the United States Reservations, Declarations and Understandings to the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment done at New York, December 10, 1984.
Scott Galindez is the Managing Editor of