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Congratulations Congress: You Voted Against Torture... Great Job!

by Alex Gauthier, published

In December 2014 the Senate Intelligence Committee declassified its 500-page executive summary on the use of 'enhanced interrogation techniques' by the CIA during the Bush administration. The report was an extensive look at numerous instances where the use of practices like rectal feeding, water boarding, and sleep deprivation were used, but produced no relevant or actionable intelligence.

On Tuesday, the Senate voted on an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that limits the U.S. government's use of interrogation practices only to those outlined in the Army Field Manual.

It reads:

An individual described in subparagraph (B) shall not be subjected to any interrogation technique, or approach, or any treatment related to interrogation that is not authorized by and listed in the Army Field Manual 2-22.3.

The amendment was introduced by John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.). It passed 78 in favor to 21 opposed with one abstention.

Here's how current presidential candidates voted on the amendment to prohibit the future use of torture:

Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) - Voted No

Marco Rubio (R-Florida) - Abstained (wasn't present for the vote)

Ted Cruz (R-Texas) - Voted Yes

Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) - Voted Yes

Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) - Voted Yes

McCain, who was subjected to torture himself during the Vietnam War, argued the amendment was vital to protecting the integrity of American democracy:

“We must continue to insist that the methods we employ in this fight for peace and freedom must always, always, be as right and honorable as the goals and ideals we fight for.”

On Thursday, the Senate passed the NDAA with McCain's amendment attached: 71 in favor to 25 opposed.

Image: Senate Floor /

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