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Senate Overwhelmingly Adds Torture Ban to Defense Authorization Bill

The Hill reports that the “Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly voted to ban the U.S. from ever again subjecting prisoners to waterboarding, ‘rectal feeding’ and other brutal interrogation practices widely condemned as torture.”  

“In a 78-21 vote, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle supported a new prohibition on ‘enhanced interrogation’ practices and other novel detention methods… The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would limit the entire U.S. government to the interrogation and detention techniques outlined in the Army Field Manual. That would codify in law an executive order delivered by President Obama days after he entered office in 2009 and expand the scope of a 2005 law that limited the Pentagon — but not intelligence agencies such as the CIA — from engaging in the harsh interrogations.”  

“It would also require the International Committee of the Red Cross to be allowed ‘prompt’ access to anyone detained by the U.S. government… The vote split the chamber’s White House hopefuls. Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) voted in support of the bill, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another 2016 candidate, voted against it. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) was not in attendance.”

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