Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Senate passes anti-torture amendment

The Senate voted tonight on John McCain's amendment to define and restrict interrogation techniques used on enemy combatants and passed it 90-9.

Thank God for McCain, and the other Republican sponsors of the bill, including Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, and (I think) Susan Collins and Gordon Smith. Also for Ian Fishback and other members of the armed forces who spoke out against the torture at great personal cost. If you haven't read Capt. Fishback's letter to Senator McCain, head over to the Washington Post and read it now. From the final paragraph:
[T]he most important question that this generation will answer [is]: Do we sacrifice our ideals in order to preserve security? Terrorism inspires fear and suppresses ideals like freedom and individual rights. Overcoming the fear posed by terrorist threats is a tremendous test of our courage. Will we confront danger and adversity in order to preserve our ideals, or will our courage and commitment to individual rights wither at the prospect of sacrifice? My response is simple. If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession. I would rather die fighting than give up even the smallest part of the idea that is "America."

President Bush has threatened to veto the military spending bill if the anti-torture amendement is attached to it, so it may not become law. In the face of opposition from the administration, it's incredibly gratifying to see such bi-partisan support for this amendment. It's restored the hope that we can move beyond the politics, that we can hold accountable those responsible for these crimes, and that Americans will never again torture prisoners.


Nancyrowina said...

This should have happened a long time ago, it's shocking it hasn't.

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