Today, the Senate brought the Intelligence Authorization Bill to the floor, which contained a provision from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) establishing one interrogation standard across the government. The bill requires the intelligence community to abide by the same standards as articulated in the Army Field Manual and bans waterboarding.It passed the Senate 51-45.
Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey voted for the bill and Senator Arlen Specter voted against.
Among the other 45 was former POW and critic of the use of torture, Senator John McCain.
Think Progress has noted that McCain said the Army Field Manual should be the standard for interrogations:
I would hope that we would understand, my friends, that life is not 24 and Jack Bauer. Life is interrogation techniques which are humane and yet effective. And I just came back from visiting a prison in Iraq. The army general there said that techniques under the Army Field Manual are working and working effectively, and he didn’t think they need to do anything else. My friends, this is what America is all about.
And yet he voted in favor of giving the CIA the option to torture. What a MAVERICK! Such STRAIGHT TALK from a NO NONSENSE sort of guy!From the NYTimes:
The Army is such a bunch of whusses, isn't it? I mean what sort of weak-on-terror defeatist wouldn't want to have the option to waterboard a little in the midst of an important interrogation?
The Senate voted 51 to 45 on Wednesday afternoon to ban waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency against high-level terrorism suspects.
Senate Republicans generally opposed the bill, but several of them also did not want to cast a vote that could be construed as supporting torture, and so were relying on President Bush to make good on a threat to veto legislation limiting C.I.A. interrogation techniques.
The prohibition of harsh interrogation techniques is part of a wider intelligence authorization bill and would restrict all American interrogators to techniques allowed in the Army Field Manual, which bars the use of physical force.