Washington—Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today applauded Senate passage of an anti-torture amendment, adopted by a vote of 78-21, to the defense authorization bill.
The amendment was cosponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Angus King (I-Maine), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
Senator McCain said: “I believe past interrogation policies compromised our values, stained our national honor and did little practical good. This amendment provides greater assurances that never again will the United States follow that dark path of sacrificing our values for our short-term security needs.”
Senator Feinstein said: “Today’s vote puts the Senate on record that there can be no return to the era of so-called enhanced interrogation techniques and that President Obama’s Executive Order should be enacted into law. No legal opinion will be able to authorize these types of brutal techniques again and say they comply with the law. Rather, with House acceptance, U.S. law will limit interrogations to the Army Field Manual. I look forward to working with Chairman McCain to ensure that our colleagues in the House will support this provision in conference and that it will be enacted into law.”
The amendment does the following:
- Restricts interrogation techniques to those authorized in the Army Field Manual.
- Requires access for the International Committee of the Red Cross to detainees in U.S. government custody, which is current U.S. policy.