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White House Strongarms Moderates - Anti-Torture Clause Ditched

Reported by Marie Therese - January 13, 2005

Air America's website reports this morning that Democratic and Republican Party legislators caved in to White House pressure last month and deleted a provision in a bill that would have prohibited the use of "torture or inhumane treatment" by the CIA. The Senate had approved the new restrictions, by a 96-to-2 vote, as part of the intelligence reform legislation which would also have "required the C.I.A. as well as the Pentagon to report to Congress about the methods they were using."

In closed door meetings White House officials convinced Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn), Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-California), Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine), and Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R-Michigan) to delete the anti-torture provisions before the bill went to the House. A Congressional Democrat told the New York Times "that the administration wanted an escape hatch to preserve the option of using torture" against prisoners held by the C.I.A. In a letter to Congress Daniel J. Dell'Orto, the Pentagon's principal deputy counsel "criticized as ‘onerous' and inappropriate other provisions in the measure that would require the Pentagon to submit annual facility-by-facility reports to Congress on the status of detainees." (End excerpt.)

To read the New York Times story click here: NY Times.


Contact these Congresspeople and let them know that you don't like what they did and ask them to adhere to the tenets of the Geneva Conventions:

Lieberman, Joseph - (D - CT) Class I
(202) 224-4041
Web Form: Sen. Lieberman

Collins, Susan - (R - ME) Class II
(202) 224-2523
Web Form: Sen. Susan Collins

Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)
2400 Rayburn
House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: (202) 225 8220
Fax: (202) 226 7290
Web form: Rep. Jane Harman

Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI)
2234 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
(202) 225-4401
Fax: (202) 226-0779
Web form: Rep. Peter Hoekstra

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