Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Senate votes to reinforce torture ban

On coming into office, President Obama issued an executive order against the torture practices of the Bush administration. Until today, the only bar to resumption of these crimes was that, for the moment, we had a President who had said "no." (As least we hope Obama's ban is comprehensive -- amidst our rulers' addiction to secrecy, we have no real way of knowing.) Today the Senate (78-21) voted to add a ban to the Defense Authorization bill. Whether this will survive legislative sausage making remains to be seen.

Joan McCarter at Daily Kos provided these portraits of shame.
  • All the votes for executive freedom to torture were from Republicans. Yet those 21 were less than half of the Republican caucus. That might not always have been the case.
  • Nice to see that no Democrats voted for torture.
  • Two Republican women (Fischer of Nebraska and Ernst of Iowa) apparently think a little cruelty is just fine. It's important for such women to prove their toughness?
  • Among Republicans running for president, Lindsey Graham loves him some enhanced coercion, while Cruz and Paul voted for the ban. Marco Rubio ducked, the only senator not voting.
Turning the country away from torture is not a moment. It is a process -- one that requires vigilance.

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