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No more of the crap about "no difference between 'D' an

Post by Rombaldi » 10-05-2005 11:31 PM

Today, The Defense Approitations bill had an amendment by John McCain to set regulations AGAINST torture of people in custody of the US Govt.


The vote was 90 for the amendment, 9 against, 1 NV.


Allard (R-CO)
Bond (R-MO)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Roberts (R-KS)
Sessions (R-AL)
Stevens (R-AK)

All Republicans, and Dimson has said he will VETO the bill (the only thing he's vetoed in 5 years) if there was any anti-toture amendment.

Democrats oppose torture.

Republicans support torture.
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Post by aussiegirl » 10-05-2005 11:49 PM

And the White House doesn't.

The Republican-controlled Senate defying Junior with a rare war-time rebuke?

The Republican Senate must "hate America."
And i couldn't help thinking, did i just **** myself? Rachael, BOTS

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Post by Rombaldi » 10-06-2005 12:48 AM

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Oct 05, 2005

Washington D.C. ¬– Senator McCain delivered the following statement today from the Senate floor on the Amendment on (1) the Army Field Manual and (2) Cruel, Inhumane, Degrading Treatment, amendment #1977:

Mr. President, I call up amendment #1977, which is filed at the desk.

The Department of Defense Appropriations bill is one of the most important funding measures considered by Congress. Equally important is the Department of Defense Authorization bill, and it is very unfortunate that we are forced to consider this funding measure without having completed our important work on the authorization bill. Despite the efforts of the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, who have worked to bring up and dispense with the authorization bill in a reasonable manner, they have been unable to reach an agreement with the leadership. As a result, the authorizers have filed the authorization bill and a procedural vote will occur on it this evening.

The Senate has an obligation to address the authorizing legislation, just as it has an obligation to deal with the issue that apparently led to the bill being pulled from the floor – America’s treatment of its detainees. Several weeks ago I received a letter from Captain Ian Fishback, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, and a veteran of combat in Afghanistan and Iraq. Over 17 months he struggled to get answers from his chain of command to a basic question: what standards apply to the treatment of enemy detainees? But he found no answers. In his remarkable letter, he pleads with Congress, asking us to take action, to establish standards, to clear up the confusion – not for the good of the terrorists, but for the good of our soldiers and our country. The Captain closes his letter by saying, “I strongly urge you to do justice to your men and women in uniform. Give them clear standards of conduct that reflect the ideals they risk their lives for.” I believe that the Congress has a responsibility to answer this call – a call that has come not just from this one brave soldier but from so many of our men and women in uniform.

We owe it to them, Mr. President. We sent them to fight for us in Afghanistan and Iraq. We placed extraordinary pressure on them to extract intelligence from detainees. But then we threw out the rules that our soldiers had trained on, and replaced them with a confusing and constantly changing array of standards. We demanded intelligence without ever clearly telling our troops what was permitted and what was forbidden. And then when things went wrong, we blamed them and we punished them. We have to do better than that.

I can understand why some administration lawyers might want ambiguity, so that every hypothetical option is theoretically open, even those the President has said he does not want to exercise. But war does not occur in theory, and our troops are not served by ambiguity. They are crying out for clarity. The Congress cannot shrink from this duty, we cannot hide our heads, pulling bills from the floor and avoiding votes. We owe it to our soldiers, during this time of war, to take a stand.

And so while I would prefer to offer this amendment to the DOD Authorization bill, I am left with no choice but to offer it to this appropriations measure. I would note that I am offering this amendment in accordance with the options afforded under Rule 16 of the Standing Rules of the Senate. The amendment I will now offer combines the two amendments that I previously filed to the authorizing measure.

This amendment would (1) establish the Army Field Manual as the uniform standard for the interrogation of Department of Defense detainees and (2) prohibit cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment of persons in the detention of the U.S. government.

Mr. President, to fight terrorism we need intelligence. That much is obvious. What should also be obvious is that the intelligence we collect must be reliable and acquired humanely, under clear standards understood by all our fighting men and women. To do differently would not only offend our values as Americans, but undermine our war effort, because abuse of prisoners harms – not helps – us in the war on terror. First, subjecting prisoners to abuse leads to bad intelligence, because under torture a detainee will tell his interrogator anything to make the pain stop. Second, mistreatment of our prisoners endangers U.S. troops who might be captured by the enemy – if not in this war, then in the next. And third, prisoner abuses exact on us a terrible toll in the war of ideas, because inevitably these abuses become public. When they do, the cruel actions of a few darken the reputation of our country in the eyes of millions. American values should win against all others in any war of ideas, and we can’t let prisoner abuse tarnish our image.

And yet reports of detainee abuse continue to emerge, in large part, I believe, because of confusion in the field as to what is permitted and what is not. The amendment I am proposing will go a long way toward clearing up this confusion.

Army Field Manual

The first part of this amendment would establish the Army Field Manual as the uniform standard for the interrogation of Department of Defense detainees. The Army Field Manual and its various editions have served America well, through wars against both regular and irregular foes. It embodies the values Americans have embraced for generations, while preserving the ability of our interrogators to extract critical intelligence from ruthless foes. Never has this been more important than today, in the midst of the war on terror.

The Army Field Manual authorizes interrogation techniques that have proven effective in extracting life-saving information from the most hardened enemy prisoners. It is consistent with our laws and, most importantly, our values. Let us not forget that al-Qaeda sought not just to destroy American lives on September 11, but American values – our way of life and all we cherish. We fight not just to preserve our lives and liberties but also American values, and we will never allow the terrorists to take those away. In this war that we must win - that we will win - we must never simply fight evil with evil.

This amendment would establish the Army Field Manual as the standard for interrogation of all detainees held in DOD custody. The Manual has been developed by the Executive Branch for its own uses, and a new edition, written to take into account the needs of the war on terror and with a new classified annex, is due to be issued soon. My amendment would not set the Field Manual in stone – it could be changed at any time.

The advantage of setting a standard for interrogation based on the Field Manual is to cut down on the significant level of confusion that still exists with respect to which interrogation techniques are allowed. The Armed Services Committee has held hearings with a slew of high-level Defense Department officials, from regional commanders, to judge advocate generals, to the Department’s deputy general counsel. A chief topic of discussion in these hearings was what specific interrogation techniques are permitted in what environments, with which DOD detainees, by whom, and when. And the answers have included a whole lot of confusion. If the Pentagon’s top minds can’t sort these matters out after exhaustive debate and preparation, how in the world do we expect our enlisted men and women to do so?

Confusion about the rules results in abuses in the field. We need a clear, simple, and consistent standard, and we have it in the Army Field Manual on Interrogation. That’s not just my opinion, but that of many more distinguished military minds than mine. I would refer you to a letter expressing strong support for this amendment, signed by 28 former high-ranking military officers, including General Joseph Hoar, who commanded Centcom; General John Shalikashvili, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs; RADM John Hutson and RADM Don Guter, who each served as the Navy’s top JAG; and LTGEN Claudia Kennedy, who served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Army Intelligence. These and other distinguished officers believe that the abuses at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and elsewhere took place in part because our soldiers received ambiguous instructions, which in some cases authorized treatment that went beyond what the Field Manual allows, and that, had the Manual been followed across the board, we could have avoided the prisoner abuse scandal. Mr. President, wouldn’t any of us do whatever we could to have prevented that? By passing this amendment, our service members can follow the Manual consistently from now on. Our troops deserve no less.

Cruel, Inhumane, Degrading Treatment

The second part of this amendment really shouldn’t be objectionable to anyone since I’m actually not proposing anything new. The prohibition against cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment has been a longstanding principle in both law and policy in the United States. Before I get into why this amendment is necessary, let me first review the history.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948, states simply that “No one shall be subject to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which the U.S. is a signatory, states the same. The binding Convention Against Torture, negotiated by the Reagan administration and ratified by the Senate, prohibits cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. On last year’s DOD Authorization bill, the Senate passed a bipartisan amendment reaffirming that no detainee in U.S. custody can be subject to torture or cruel treatment, as the U.S. has long defined those terms. All of this seems to be common sense, in accordance with longstanding American values.

But since last year’s DOD bill, a strange legal determination was made that the prohibition in the Convention Against Torture against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment does not legally apply to foreigners held outside the U.S. They can, apparently, be treated inhumanely. This is the administration’s position, even though Judge Abe Soafer, who negotiated the Convention Against Torture for President Reagan, said in a recent letter that the Reagan administration never intended the prohibition against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment to apply only on U.S. soil.

What all this means is that America is the only country in the world that asserts a legal right to engage in cruel and inhuman treatment. But the crazy thing is that it is not even necessary, because the Administration has said that it will not engage in cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as a matter of policy. What this also means is that confusion about the rules becomes rampant again. We have so many differing legal standards and loopholes that our lawyers and generals are confused – just imagine our troops serving in prisons and the field.

So the amendment I am offering simply codifies what is current policy and reaffirms what was assumed to be existing law for years. In light of the administration’s stated commitment, it should require no change in our current interrogation and detention practices. What it would do is restore clarity on a simple and fundamental question: Does America treat people inhumanely? My answer is no, and from all I’ve seen, America’s answer has always been no.

Mr. President, let me just close by noting that I hold no brief for the prisoners. I do hold a brief for the reputation of the United States of America. We are Americans, and we hold ourselves to humane standards of treatment of people no matter how evil or terrible they may be. To do otherwise undermines our security, but it also undermines our greatness as a nation. We are not simply any other country. We stand for something more in the world – a moral mission, one of freedom and democracy and human rights at home and abroad. We are better than these terrorists, and we will we win. The enemy we fight has no respect for human life or human rights. They don’t deserve our sympathy. But this isn’t about who they are. This is about who we are. These are the values that distinguish us from our enemies.

I urge my colleagues to support this amendment.

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Post by Fred_Vobbe » 10-06-2005 07:00 AM

McCain has fallen out of favor with many broadcasters after he blamed the communications woes in LA, and MS on TV broadcasters.

According to McCain, because TV broadcasters have not been quick to embrace digital TV, and turn off their analog TV transmitters, they compromised the safety and security of people.

My question is, how many of you have transitioned to only digital TVs, and don't have an analog TV anymore? Even I don't have all my analog TVs replaced.

McCain's bitch is not with TV broadcasters, but with hacks like Motorola who sold FEMA a broken radio system that would not work. Then after hams rescued communications with their OWN radios, a Motorola spokesman came up with the comment, "anything is better than nothing, and ham radio is about as close to nothing as possible."

I'm sure McCain and Motorola really helped in the Katrina disaster.

Slime spreads.
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Post by Cherry Kelly » 10-06-2005 09:36 AM

Geneva convention --

now take a look at the rest of the bill --

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Post by Rombaldi » 10-06-2005 11:23 AM

Fred_Vobbe wrote: I'm sure McCain and Motorola really helped in the Katrina disaster.
And that has WHAT to do with his amendment against the TORTURE of people??
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Post by Fred_Vobbe » 10-06-2005 11:38 AM

Trust, McCain, big business. Just saying that it depends on where the money is at the time.
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Nine Explain Interrogation Votes

Post by SETIsLady » 10-07-2005 01:11 PM

Friday, October 7, 2005; Page A21

Reacting to reports of abuse of detainees in Iraq and elsewhere, the Senate voted 90 to 9 Wednesday night for an amendment by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would ban the use of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in the custody of the U.S. military. The provision, inserted in a military spending bill, also would restrict interrogation techniques to those authorized in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.

The House version contains no such language, so the fate of the amendment will be determined in a House-Senate conference. The Federal Page checked in yesterday with the nine Republicans who voted against to find out why they opposed the McCain amendment. Here is what they told us:

Sen. Wayne Allard (Colo.)

"I believe acts of torture are despicable and deplorable. . . . Requiring the codification of the Army field manual, however, does not right the wrong committed by those individuals who were clearly acting outside of the Army's existing regulations and laws of our country. In fact, all it does is tie the hands of the Department of Defense at a time when maximum flexibility within the boundaries of the U.S. law is needed."

Sen. Christopher S. Bond (Mo.)


"The last thing we want to do is put undue burdens on military and intelligence officials who are on the ground trying to obtain critical information on the war on terror. There are already guidelines in place, including administrative processes, to investigate misconduct and take corrective and punitive action."

Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.)

John Hart, a spokesman for Coburn, said: "He finds the practices that have been publicized aberrant like everyone else does and is deeply opposed to using torture as an interrogation technique. He was concerned that the amendment, however, would put at risk some of our undercover officers by making them subject to two sets of laws governing their conduct."

Sen. Thad Cochran (Miss.)

"I listened to the debate, and I support the efforts of the chairman of the Defense Appropriations subcommittee to resolve this issue in conference with the House. We agree that prisoners should not be mistreated, but we disagree that the military combat manual should be the standard for dealing with all prisoners whether they are terrorists or not."

Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.)

"Supporters claim that this amendment was necessary to send a message that the abuse at Abu Ghraib is inconsistent with our laws and values. But those guilty of abuses already knew their conduct violated our laws and our values. . . . As such, they would not have been deterred even if this amendment were in effect at the time. Finally, the amendment gives the false impression that torture and abuse of detainees was the official policy of the United States government. That is also false. The policy was, and continues to be, one that requires humane treatment of all detainees."

Sen. James M. Inhofe (Okla.)

"From my first statement in the Senate Armed Services Committee in May of last year, I have made it clear that we are spending far too much of our time and effort on the prisoner abuse issue and not enough time on the quality of our interrogations. . . . The military justice system was well into its investigations before the public was even aware of the issue. It is my feeling that the more we air this issue publicly, the more we are emboldening the terrorists. The more we talk about our methods of interrogation we must remember that the enemy is listening."

Sen. Pat Roberts (Kan.)


"Am I against torture? Of course I am. I know as chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee that the information we get from interrogating terrorists is some of the most valuable information we get. It saves lives, period. We have learned that one of the most effective tools we have in getting this information is the terrorists' fear of the unknown. Passing a law that effectively telegraphs to the entire terrorist world what they can expect if they are caught is not only counterproductive, but could be downright dangerous."

Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.)

Sessions's office provided a copy of his floor speech, from which this excerpt was taken.

"People who are responsible for misbehavior are being held to account. If I thought our military was not responding well, I would be very concerned. . . . I am dubious, for complex technical reasons, of the amendment that has been offered . . . because I am not sure it makes good legal sense to have a law that is a moving law, it seems to me, that complies with the Army regulations. . . . A statute is supposed to be permanent. As a lawyer, I am troubled by that. I don't think this is a necessary action."

Sen. Ted Stevens (Alaska)


Stevens's office provided the following excerpt from his floor statement .

"There is a classified annex to the Army Field Manual that is not addressed in this amendment. There are people who are not in uniform, who may not even be citizens of the United States, who represent us in very strange and dangerous places, whose lives may be put in jeopardy by the process that is spelled out in this amendment. I speak for them. There are changes that have to be made if we are to be faithful to those people who live in the classified world and will be covered by the classified annex. I hope to try and straighten out the amendment in conference." ... rrer=email

This all sounds like a bunch of politcal double talk to are either for it or against it...its not complitcated

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Post by Gotrox » 10-07-2005 07:35 PM

one side votes to tell you, the other side votes to not. ;)

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Post by fabzilla » 10-08-2005 09:03 AM

The big picture not being presented with this "snippet" is the vote is 90 for funding military operations with the torture amendment written in as a rider on the package.

F'ed in operation, spin following at 5, etc etc.

When you cut a pie you get a slice, but it is still pie.

This is not much more than the 10 to 20% crowd making a showing to excite the base.

When it stops working, we may have a chance at change until then...

stock up.

Ah drrr drrr drrr

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As I see it: The Truth about Two-Party Politics

Post by Riddick » 10-09-2005 02:12 PM

IMHO, as it is the Two-Party Establishment structure is ALL crap -- so now

If you ask me, from my POV, What's the difference between the 2 parties ?

:D ;)


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