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Ear to the Ground

Senate Votes to Outlaw Waterboarding

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Posted on Feb 13, 2008

The House of Representatives and Senate have now both signaled their disapproval of the CIA’s use of waterboarding by voting for a ban on any techniques but the 19 officially approved by the Army, but President Bush has already, in turn, signaled his intent to veto any legislation that would rule out harsh interrogation methods.


AP via Breitbart.com:

Arguing for such restrictions, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., said the use of harsh tactics would boomerang on the United States.

“Retaliation is the way of the world. What we do to others, they will do to us—but worse,” Rockefeller said. “This debate is about more than legality. It is also about morality, the way we see ourselves ... and what we represent to the world.”

The legislation bars the CIA from using waterboarding, sensory deprivation or other harsh coercive methods to break a prisoner who refuses to answer questions. Those practices were banned by the military in 2006.

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By dav, February 15, 2008 at 2:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush is an evil little bastard, of course.

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By Frank Cajon, February 14, 2008 at 6:50 pm Link to this comment

The Chancellor is not going to go down without a fight for one of his favorite pasttimes. If it was good for the Inquisition, the Nazi SS, Japanese war criminals who were executed for using the technique, and the Kmer Rouge, waterboarding is Herr Bush’s perfect answer to keep Americans ‘safe from terrorists’ by torturing any one any way he wants. He is a madman who has lost his moral compass and the imaginary end justifies whatever the horrific means. Please, let us survive until someone sane takes over before this paranoid fool starts a nuclear war.

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By David, February 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

they didn’t outlaw wHaterbHoarding.  And that, as everyone in the Bush administration knows, is actually what is used.  Bush wins again!!!

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By rangertommy, February 14, 2008 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

...all of this eagerness and assertiveness on Bush’s part to make sure that persuasive techniques remain available to interrogators (and by the way, making sure that warantless wiretapping remains an option) strikes me as a way of staying on the offensive against the accusation of criminal activity on his part.  If he can continue to push for these outrageous things, then it puts Congress in the position of simply saying no.  If he doesn’t push on them, then it puts Congress (potentially) in the position of not just saying no, but pursuing criminal conviction.  Won’t someone please have the guts to pursue impeachment, even at the risk of your own future in Washington?  (As if you’d be anything but the biggest hero of the 21st century!)

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By m mills, February 14, 2008 at 10:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Holding the CIA to a less standard of conduct than the US military is analogous to the Nazis sending in the SS to take charge of occupied areas after the Wermacht had subdued them. Aside from the gross violation of decency and human rights this permits, such a loophole reduces US behaviour to the lowest level of criminal activity.

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By Jim Yell, February 14, 2008 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I seem to be the only one who remembers that it wasn’t a failure of intellegence gathering that allowed 9/11, it was a lack of reaction to what they knew. We didn’t need new and illegal abuse of all Americans to protect us. We needed for our officials to usE the information they had.

All of this rush to a police state has nothing to do with protecting us. It is all to do with Corporate and Investment profits and nothing to do with the majority of Americans, except for our loss of protection from the Bill of Rights.

IT IS NEVER IN THE INTEREST OF THE COUNTRY TO ALLOW POLITICIANS, OR APPOINTED OFFICIALS TO BREAK THE LAW WITHOUT CLEAR EXPECTATION OF PUNISHMENT FOR THEIR CRIMES. BUSH/CHENEY/RUMSFIELD AND ALL SHOULD BE TRIED, BY THEIR OWN WORDS AND DEEDS IT IS CLEAR THEY HAVE BROKEN THE LAW, SO THE END OF THE PROCESS SHOULD BE SOME VERY UNPLEASANT PUNISHMENT DEALT BY OUR LEGAL SYSTEM, EXCEPT OF COURSE THE REPUBLICANS HAVE STACKED THE COURT WITH JUDGES HOSTILE TO THE PROCESS.

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By Aegrus, February 14, 2008 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

Waterboard Congress until they pull us out of Iraq and Impeach Bush!

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By cyrena, February 14, 2008 at 2:56 am Link to this comment

DennisD…

You didn’t miss the vote. The 19 ‘approved’ techniques were incorporated into the new Manual. (it’s about 2 years old now).

I don’t think Congress voted on it.

Now of course BEFORE that, we’ve had these dozen or so OTHER domestic and international laws in place, ALL of which outlaw ALL forms of torture. (that was pre-Dick Bush). And SINCE then, they done a bunch of other new laws, to add to the old laws, like this new law, to prohibit torture.

So, it’s like the Doc said, they keep doing laws to make it illegal, to do something that is already illegal. So by now, it’s become illegal about a hundred times, except that georgie says he’s gonna veto this one too.

(remember, he did a signing statement on the last two or three…I lose track).

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RAE's avatar

By RAE, February 13, 2008 at 10:23 pm Link to this comment

When you behave in the same, barbaric manner as those who oppose you, you become the same as them.

I find it absolutely astonishing that these supposedly “Christians” at the helm of the USA can be such boldfaced hypocrites… they don’t even follow their own religious teachings but claim to be followers nonetheless.

The GWB crowd are nothing but liars and cheats dressed up in expensive clothes. Shame on them.

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By cyrena, February 13, 2008 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

My sentiments exactly!

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, February 13, 2008 at 5:51 pm Link to this comment

I don’t understand voting to make something illegal illegal.

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By DennisD, February 13, 2008 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Laws are made to be broken by our government - see the related Truthdig Telecom story for the latest.

It’s nice to know that there are 19 Army approved techniques available already.

Did our “esteemed lawmakers”(said tongue in cheek as cynically as possible) previously approve those? I missed the vote.

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