NH Senator Kelly Ayotte Wants To Legalize Torture
New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte has proposed an amendment to the defense bill that would make torture legal.
The amendment, which purports to authorize “lawful interrogation methods,” actually rescinds Obama’s 2009 executive order banning torture. It directs the secretary of defense, attorney general and director of national intelligence to adopt a “classified annex” to the Army Field Manual, complete with a list of interrogation methods that could be used by the inter-agency High Value Interrogation Group (HIG). A coalition of civil liberties and human rights groups has called on the Senate to reject the amendment, stating it would “revive the use of torture and other cruelty in U.S. interrogations.”
Key here is that although Ayotte’s amendment states the methods must “comply with all applicable laws,” including laws against torture, the methods under consideration are classified. Republicans reject the idea that the Bush-era interrogation techniques were illegal, and the Obama administration’s obstruction of accountability for Bush-era abuses means that there is no definitive ruling from the courts on which methods actually constitute torture. The amendment thus leaves a gaping loophole allowing for the return of Cheneyesque torture policies should a torture-friendly Republican administration take office.Click here for reuse options!
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