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Encyclopedia > McCain Detainee Amendment
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The McCain Detainee Amendment was an amendment to the United States Senate Department of Defense Authorization bill, commonly referred to as the Amendment on (1) the Army Field Manual and (2) Cruel, Inhumane, Degrading Treatment, amendment #1977 and also known as the McCain Amendment 1977. It became the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 as Title X of the Department of Defense Authorization bill. The amendment prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, by confining interrogations to the techniques in FM 34-52 Intelligence Interrogation. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... Seal of the U.S. Senate The United States Senate is one of the two chambers of the Congress of the United States, the other being the House of Representatives. ... Detainees upon arrival at Camp X-Ray, January 2002 Guantánamo Bay detainment camp, serving as a joint military prison and interrogation center under the leadership of Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO), has occupied a portion of the United States Navys base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002. ... The US Army Field Manual on Interrogation, sometimes known by the code FM 34-52, is a 177 page manual describing to military interrogators how to conduct effective interrogations while conforming with US and international law. ...

Contents

Legislative history of the amendment

Amendment 1977 amended the defense appropriations bill for 2005 passed by the United States House of Representatives. The amendment was introduced to the Senate by Senator John McCain (R Arizona) on October 3, 2005 as S.AMDT.1977. Seal of the House of Representatives The United States House of Representatives (or simply the House) is one of the two chambers of the United States Congress, the other being the Senate. ... For McCains grandfather and father, see John S. McCain, Sr. ... // The Republican Party (often referred to as the GOP, for Grand Old Party) is one of the two major political organizations in the United States two party system; the Democratic Party is the other. ... Official language(s) English Capital Phoenix Largest city Phoenix Area  Ranked 6th  - Total 113,998 sq mi (295,254 km²)  - Width 310 miles (500 km)  - Length 400 miles (645 km)  - % water 0. ... October 3 is the 276th day of the year (277th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar. ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


The amendment was co-sponsored by Senators Lindsey Graham, Chuck Hagel, Gordon H. Smith, Susan M. Collins Lamar Alexander, Richard Durbin, Carl Levin, John Warner, Lincoln Chafee, John E. Sununu, and Ken Salazar. Lindsey Olin Graham (born July 9, 1955) is an American politician from South Carolina. ... Charles Timothy Chuck Hagel (born October 4, 1946) is the senior United States Senator from Nebraska. ... Gordon Harold Smith (born May 25, 1952) is a United States Senator from Oregon. ... Susan Margaret Collins (born December 7, 1952) is the junior U.S. Senator from Maine and a Republican. ... Andrew Lamar Alexander (born July 3, 1940) is the junior United States Senator from Tennessee and a member of the Republican Party. ... Richard Joseph Dick Durbin (born November 21, 1944) is currently the senior United States Senator from Illinois and Democratic Whip, the second highest position in the party leadership in the Senate. ... Carl Milton Levin (born June 28, 1934) is a Democratic United States Senator from Michigan. ... John William Warner (born February 18, 1927) is an American statesman and politician, who served as Secretary of the Navy from 1972-1974 and has served as a Republican senator from Virginia since 1979. ... Lincoln Davenport Chafee (IPA pronunciation: , [CHAY-fee]) (born March 26, 1953) is a Republican United States Senator from Rhode Island. ... John Edward Sununu (born September 10, 1964) is a United States Senator from New Hampshire. ... Kenneth Lee Salazar (born March 2, 1955) is an American politician, rancher, and environmentalist from the U.S. state of Colorado. ...


On October 5, 2005, the United States Senate voted 90-9 to support the amendment. [1] The Senators who voted against the amendment were Wayne Allard (R-CO), Christopher Bond (R-MO), Tom Coburn (R-OK), Thad Cochran (R-MS), John Cornyn (R-TX), James Inhofe (R-OK), Pat Roberts (R-KS), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), and Ted Stevens (R-AK). October 5 is the 278th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (279th in Leap years). ... 2005 (MMV) was a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Alan Wayne Allard (born December 2, 1943) is a United States Senator from Colorado and a member of the Republican Party. ... Thomas Allen Coburn, M.D. (born March 14, 1948) is a medical doctor and a Republican U.S. Senator from Oklahoma. ... William Thad Cochran (born December 7, 1937) is the senior United States Senator from Mississippi. ... John Cornyn III (born February 2, 1952) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. ... James Mountain Inhofe, usually known as Jim Inhofe (born November 17, 1934) is an American politician from Oklahoma. ... Charles Patrick Roberts (born April 20, 1936) is a United States Senator from Kansas. ... Jefferson Beauregard Jeff Sessions III (born December 24, 1946) is the junior United States Senator from Alabama. ... Theodore Fulton Stevens (born November 18, 1923) is a United States Senator from Alaska. ...


Signing statement by President Bush

After approving the bill President Bush issued a signing statement: an official document in which a president lays out his interpretation of a new law.[2] In it Bush said: Proponents of strong constitutional signing statements: Ronald Reagan, left, and George H. W. Bush, right. ...

"The executive branch shall construe Title X in Division A of the Act, relating to detainees, in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch and as Commander in Chief and consistent with the constitutional limitations on the judicial power, which will assist in achieving the shared objective of the Congress and the President, evidenced in Title X, of protecting the American people from further terrorist attacks."

The Boston Globe quoted an anonymous senior administration official saying, "Of course the president has the obligation to follow this law, (but) he also has the obligation to defend and protect the country as the commander in chief, and he will have to square those two responsibilities in each case. We are not expecting that those two responsibilities will come into conflict, but it's possible that they will." [3] The Boston Globe is the most widely-circulated daily newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts and in the greater New England region. ...


Criticism

The McCain Amendment cited the U.S. Army's Field Manual on interrogation as the authoritative guide to interrogation techniques. On December 14, the New York times reported that the Army Field Manual had been rewritten by the Pentagon. Previously, the manual's interrogation techniques section could be read freely on the Internet. But the new edition's includes 10 classified pages in the interrogation technique section. [4] The US Army Field Manual on Interrogation, sometimes known by the code FM 34-52, is a 177 page manual describing to military interrogators how to conduct effective interrogations while conforming with US and international law. ...


Also, the McCain Amendment's anti-torture provisions were modified by the Graham-Levin Amendment, which was also attached to the $453-billion 2006 Defense Budget Bill. The Graham-Levin Amendment permits the Department of Defense to consider evidence obtained through torture of Guantanamo Bay detainees, and expands the prohibition of habeas corpus for redetainees, which subsequently leaves detainees no legal recourse if they're tortured. [5]


Critics say these two actions deflate the McCain Amendment from having any real power in stopping torture by the United States Government, and these were the true reasons why President Bush "conceded" to McCain's demands. Yet, this was largely ignored by the mainstream media, who instead credited Bush's concession to "overwhelming Congressional support" for the measure. [6] [7]


Amnesty International claims that the amendment's loopholes actually signal that torture is now official US policy. [8]


See also

CAT states: members in green, non-members in grey The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT) is an international human rights instrument, organized by the United Nations and intended to prevent torture and other similar activities. ... Extraordinary rendition is an American extra-judicial procedure which involves the sending of untried criminal suspects, suspected terrorists or alleged supporters of groups which the US Government considers to be terrorist organizations, to countries other than the United States for imprisonment and interrogation. ... Ethical arguments have arisen regarding torture, and its debated value to society. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The ticking time bomb scenario is a thought experiment that has been used in the debate over whether torture could ever be justified in the war on terror. ... In American political and legal discourse, the concept of the unitary executive -- which should not be confused with concepts of unitary government -- involves two facets: a procedural view of how the executive branch should operate, and a substantive view of the scope of executive power. ... The term unlawful combatant (also unlawful enemy combatant or unprivileged combatant/belligerent) is a term used by the Bush administration to label certain persons as outside of the protection of the Geneva Conventions; those that have such protections are known as lawful combatants. ... The United States Military Commissions Act of 2006, Pub. ...

References


  Results from FactBites:
 
McCain Detainee Amendment - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (631 words)
The McCain Detainee Amendment was an amendment to the United States Senate Department of Defense Authorization bill, commonly referred to as the Amendment on (1) the Army Field Manual and (2) Cruel, Inhumane, Degrading Treatment, amendment #1977 and also known as the McCain Amendment 1977.
Amendment 1977 amended the defense appropriations bill for 2005 passed by the United States House of Representatives.
The amendment was introduced to the Senate by Senator John McCain (R Arizona) on October 3, 2005 as S.AMDT.1977.
Senate Debates McCain Amendment on Prisoner Interrogation (20049 words)
This amendment will cover those entities with multiple nationalities, multiple agencies, and because of the circumstances our people in the past have taken control of these, and some of the activities of the other nationalities involved would not be consistent with this amendment.
Secondly, the McCain amendment states simply that the interrogation techniques used by the military on detainees shall be those specified by the Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation.
The witnesses claim that detainees were abused at the request of military intelligence personnel as part of the interrogation process, but also claim that the abuse occurred simply as a way for troops to ``relieve stress.'' One soldier allegedly broke a detainee's leg with a baseball bat.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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