Friday, October 21, 2016


From Josh White and Charles Babington of the Washpost, "House Supports Ban on Torture":
The House gave strong support yesterday to a measure that would ban torture and limit interrogation tactics in U.S. detention facilities, agreeing with Senators that Congress needs to set uniform guidelines for the treatment of prisoners in the war on terrorism.
On a 308 to 122 vote, members of the House supported specific language proposed by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" of anyone in the custody of the U.S. government. Though lopsided, the vote was largely symbolic and does not put the language into law.
The vote specifically instructed House negotiators to include McCain's language, word for word, in the fiscal 2006 defense appropriations bill, a decision that is not binding but carries significant political weight.
The House also supported a McCain provision that would require officials in any Defense Department detention facility to follow the interrogation standards in the Army's field manual on interrogations. That manual is currently being revised... (#)
I wrote yesterday that the field manual was being amended out of a combination of wounded vanity, stubbornness, and plain old immaturity. But I think Atrios hit it much closer to the mark: It's about normalizing S&M. Since the whips-and-chains crowd isn't any better at confronting inner demons than it is at practicing self-restraint, my guess is all 122 Housecreatures who voted for "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment" are Republicans. I'll have to check to be sure, though...

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"OFF BY ONE" UPDATE: The final vote had 107 Republicans for banning cruel and inhuman treatment of prisoners of war, and 121 for limited use of it. So a slight majority of House Republicans would like to see S&M go a little more mainstream. On the Democratic side, they all opposed torture except one: Jim Marshall of Georgia (3rd district). There's one in every family, I guess...