Senate Votes to End CIA Use of Torture

February 13, 2008 12:00 am

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ACLU applauds vote to apply Army Field Manual government-wide


Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union was encouraged today when, by a vote of 51-45, the Senate voted to apply the Army Field Manual (AFM) on Interrogations government-wide. The Senate was voting on the Intelligence Authorization Conference Report (H.R. 2082), which includes the AFM provision. The legislation will now be sent to President Bush, who threatened to veto due to the AFM provision.

In December, the House of Representatives passed the Intelligence Authorization Conference Report by a vote of 222-199. Both the House and the Senate have now voted in favor of applying the Army Field Manual standards to all federal government agencies, thereby ending the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other “harsh” interrogation methods.

During the bicameral conference committee considering the legislation late last year, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) added the Army Field Manual provision. Section 327 would restrict all government agencies to the interrogation tactics authorized by the Manual. The AFM prohibits specific acts of torture and abuse, including waterboarding, and also authorizes an array of specific interrogation tactics.

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

“Congress has sent a resounding message to the president that the American people will not stand for torture, as both chambers of Congress have voted to end the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods by applying the Army Field Manual government-wide. The Senate deserves commendation today for voting to adopt a more humane standard that outlaws torture for all interrogations conducted on behalf of America.”

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