Democrat and Republican Senators Seek to Ban Torture

On Tuesday, a bipartisan group of Senators introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would prohibit the government from using interrogation techniques that are not specified in the Army Field Manual. Some of the prohibited techniques included sleep deprivation and waterboarding.

The group includes Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein of California and Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Steven Hawkins, the Amnesty International USA director, said “The U.S. must take steps to guard against a return to torture as an official national security policy in all but name." The measure would “extend the restrictions throughout the government — not just the Pentagon." It would also require the Army Field Manual to be updated every three years so that it “complies with the legal obligations of the United States and reflects current, evidence-based, best practices for interrogation that are designed to elicit reliable and voluntary statements and do not involve the use or threat of force.”

Elisa Massimo, the head of Human Rights First, said, “This is how a strong democracy deals with its mistakes — we examine what we did, and take the necessary steps to make it right. The Senate should work quickly to pass this amendment.” On the other hand, Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International’s Security and Human Rights Program, asserted “Today’s proposal is a needed reform, but one that does not go nearly far enough."

Photo: RT

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