ACLU Cheers House and Senate Intel Bill Conferees for Including Provision Prohibiting Torture and Abuse

December 6, 2007 12:00 am

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Urges Full House and Senate to Pass This Important Legislation

WASHINGTON – The ACLU was encouraged today that House and Senate conferees included a provision to the 2008 intelligence authorization bill (HR 2082) which would apply the Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogations government-wide. The provision, added to the conference report by Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), would require all government agencies, including the CIA, to abide by the Army Field Manual – which prohibits torture and abuse tactics against persons held in U.S. custody.

The Army Field Manual prohibits specific acts of torture and abuse, including waterboarding, and also authorizes an array of specific interrogation tactics. The Feinstein amendment would restrict all government agencies to the interrogation tactics authorized by the manual. The legislation now moves to both the House and Senate for final consideration.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“The House and Senate conferees should be commended for coming to agreement on this important legislation. Congress has already prohibited our armed forces from using torture and abuse, but this legislation would finally extend the time-tested Army Field Manual to the agency most culpable for employing these tactics – the CIA. The United States has been a leader in the fight against torture worldwide. For our government to engage in these horrific practices violates the American values most of us hold in our hearts.

“The ACLU calls on the full House and Senate to pass this legislation and send it to President Bush. Congress can make it clear that the American people will no longer stand for the use of torture and abuse.”

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