Thursday, February 7, 2013

Susan Collins and Torture

Wall Street Journal, Feb. 6, 2013:

Ms. Collins considers the use of harsh interrogation methods unacceptable.
New York Times, Jan. 13, 2005:
At the urging of the White House, Congressional leaders scrapped a legislative measure last month that would have imposed new restrictions on the use of extreme interrogation measures by American intelligence officers...

The Senate had approved the new restrictions, by a 96-to-2 vote, as part of the intelligence reform legislation. They would have explicitly extended to intelligence officers a prohibition against torture or inhumane treatment, and would have required the C.I.A. as well as the Pentagon to report to Congress about the methods they were using.

But in intense closed-door negotiations, Congressional officials said, four senior members from the House and Senate deleted the restrictions from the final bill...

Both Senator Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican negotiator, and Representative Jane Harman of California, a Democratic negotiator, said the lawmakers had ultimately decided that the question of whether to extend the restrictions to intelligence officers was too complex to be included in the legislation.

New York Times, September 28, 2006
Last week, the White House and three Republican senators announced a terrible deal on [the Military Commissions Act] that gave Mr. Bush most of what he wanted, including a blanket waiver for crimes Americans may have committed in the service of his antiterrorism policies.

Then Vice President Dick Cheney and his willing lawmakers rewrote the rest of the measure so that it would give Mr. Bush the power to jail pretty much anyone he wants for as long as he wants without charging them, to unilaterally reinterpret the Geneva Conventions, to authorize what normal people consider torture, and to deny justice to hundreds of men captured in error.

US Senate, September 28, 2006
S. 3930 (Military Commissions Act of 2006)

Collins (R-ME): Yea

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