The U.S. Senate just passed the McCain-Feinstein anti-torture amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 78-21. Both New Hampshire Senators—Senator Kelly Ayotte and Senator Jeanne Shaheen—voted in favor of the amendment. The amendment would require, by statute, that the CIA and other government agencies comply with the same interrogation manual used by the military, and that all government agencies provide the Red Cross with access to persons held in U.S. custody. The vote comes nearly ten years after Congress enacted McCain-sponsored legislation that required the military to comply with its interrogation manual, and reinforced the ban on torture and abuse.
The following can be attributed to Devon Chaffee, Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire:
“At a time of intense partisan strife, Senators Ayotte and Shaheen have shown true leadership in voting to affirm the American commitment to banning the use of torture and abuse. The amendment passed today will make permanent the ban on the CIA using any tactics that the military cannot use, and will permanently ban the CIA from hiding detainees from the Red Cross. If enacted, the amendment will be an historic step towards helping ensure that the federal government never again uses torture and abuse.”