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White House Formally Pushes for a CIA that Can Torture People

The Bush administration has just proposed additional language to a McCain ammendment. If you remember it passed the Senate recently by 90 to 9 and forbids:

"...torture, and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" and requires adherence to the Army Field Manuel on interrogations.

The White house has previously threatened to veto the bill over this language, and Vice Presidnent Cheney's office just asked that in essence, the CIA be legally allowed to torture, and/or treat it's prisoners in cruel, inhuman or degrading ways.

Crazy.

UPDATE: Make your voice heard by the White House here...

"The Bush administration has proposed exempting employees of the Central Intelligence Agency from a legislative measure endorsed earlier this month by 90 members of the Senate that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in U.S. custody.

The proposal, which two sources said Vice President Cheney handed last Thursday to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the company of CIA Director Porter J. Goss, states that the measure barring inhumane treatment shall not apply to counterterrorism operations conducted abroad or to operations conducted by "an element of the United States government" other than the Defense Department.

Cheney's proposal is drafted in such a way that the exemption from the rule barring ill treatment could require a presidential finding that "such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack." But the precise applicability of this section is not clear, and none of those involved in last week's discussions would discuss it openly yesterday.

McCain, the principal sponsor of the legislation, rejected the proposed exemption at the meeting with Cheney, according to a government source who spoke without authorization and on the condition of anonymity. "
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