Thursday, December 15, 2005

White House Agrees to Anti-Torture Amendment!

Okay, I know there are still several problems, but I'm just tickled that the White House has agreed to most of the language in Sen. McCain's Anti-Torture Amendment. This is the White House, you'll recall, that had Dick Cheney campaigning non-stop there for a while to exempt CIA operatives from its application. And then Condoleezza Rice wore herself out saying, first, that rules against torture wouldn't apply to US nationals working abroad and then that we wouldn't ever torture and that everyone should just trust us. Uh huh... when pigs fly.

For the record, some of the challenges that still await us include:
  • the Graham-Levin amendment to the Defense Appropriations Bill which chips away at habeus corpus, restricting the possibility that the detainees at Guantanamo Bay can have an independent review of the facts pertinent to their detention;
  • the administration has proposed changes even more alarming than Graham-Levin, barring the detainees at Guantanamo from seeking any practical relief from torture and permitting the government to use evidence gleaned as a result of torture.

If these latter changes are passed, there will have been no discernible point to the McCain amendment.

So... vigilance.... but also celebration. On some level, the White House has responded to bipartisan public pressure. The people have spoken. Good for us.

These guys know more about this issue than I ever will: Center for American Progress.

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