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White House, Senate discussing torture ban

[JURIST] US senators and the White House [official website] are discussing a possible ban on torture of suspected terrorists in US custody, but are struggling to find a consensus, according to US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, speaking Sunday on ABC's This Week. The Senate's plan under the so-called McCain Amendment [JURIST document; advocacy website] would restrict techniques used to interrogate detainees by banning cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment as well as require US troops to follow procedures set by the forthcoming edition of the Army Field Manual [JURIST report]. The White House has already threatened a veto [policy statement] on the sections restricting interrogation techniques, claiming that President Bush [official profile; JURIST news archive] has required humane treatment from the beginning and that existing US anti-torture policy [Global Security backgrounder] is sufficient. The White House also argues the Senate proposal will restrict President Bush in the war on terror. Vice President Dick Cheney [official website; JURIST news archive] is advocating that the CIA [official website; JURIST news archive] be exempt from any proposed torture ban. AP has more.

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