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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-05 11:03 AM
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Central Torture Agency?
Central Torture Agency?
Exempting the CIA From the McCain Amendment Sends the Wrong Signal to Our Officers

Lawyers and policymakers in Washington who sleep between clean sheets and get three hot meals a day can draft complex rules that make fine distinctions between military and CIA rules for interrogation. Those same officials ask our young officers in the field to take great risks. Risks are necessary to protect us. And war is not bingo. But the officers in the field are mindful that their colleagues are being investigated and may be prosecuted for prisoner abuses. If the Cheney proposal is adopted, what signal will it send to those officers? If the Geneva Conventions don't apply, what are the limits on interrogation? Will officers in the field have confidence that they will be backed up by senior officers in Washington, or will they be prosecuted?

There may be an argument for exempting the CIA from the McCain amendment. If so, the president and vice president should publicly make the case. They should say why they believe treatment of prisoners outside the Geneva Conventions would provide vital intelligence to protect us. They should give examples of how such treatment has produced valuable intelligence. If the choice is between the McCain amendment as modified by Cheney and nothing, we are better off with doing nothing and leaving the law where it is. Sooner or later this nation will come to its senses and remember how important international law and the Geneva Conventions are to our standing in the world and the protection of our citizens.

The Post reported on Oct. 27 that John Negroponte, director of national intelligence, has directed intelligence agencies to "bolster the growth of democracy" and support the rule of law in other nations. Those are noble causes that will be embraced by all intelligence officers. But if the vice president's proposal is adopted, the CIA will presumably be free to bolster democracy by torturing anyone who does not embrace it with sufficient enthusiasm. Some democracy.

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Martin Eden Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-05 01:35 PM
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1. Normally, I would want the CIA to have that option.
Edited on Wed Nov-09-05 01:37 PM by Martin Eden
Under very rare and very specific circumstances, when it was certain that a terror suspect possesses information vital to thwarting an imminent terrorist attack, I would want my government to do whatever was necessary to save innocent lives.

The Senate now feels compelled to tie the CIA's hands in such matters because Bush administration policies on the treatment of prisoners -- not just in rare and specific circumstances -- have resulted in widespread abuse and public scandal that have stained America's honor and integrity.

If the CIA is constrained from extracting information that would prevent an attack, it will be due to the hubris and incompetence of the White House cabal responsible for Abu Ghraib and "the gulag of our times" becoming major issues on the world stage.

Passing legislation reaffirming that our rule of law does not permit torture has become a necessary step in damage control. Failing to do so would very loudly proclaim our status as a rogue nation.
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newscott Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-09-05 03:58 PM
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2. You know the CIA will simply ignore this.
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