BREAKING NEWS ~ White House to accept McCain torture ban

[JURIST] AP is reporting that the White House has agreed to accept the McCain Amendment [JURIST document] that would ban the cruel and inhumane treatment of terror detainees, according to congressional officials. The White House has previously threatened to veto any legislation to which the amendment was attached and called for an exemption for CIA operatives.

2:36 PM ET - A spokeswoman for Sen. John McCain has confirmed that there has been an agreement on the amendment, and an announcement from the White House is expected shortly. Reuters has more.

4:35 PM ET - In remarks at an afternoon White House press conference with President Bush and Senator John Warner, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, McCain said:

This agreement basically does two things: One, puts into the Army Field Manual the specific procedures for interrogations. And two, it prohibits cruel, inhumane -- or torture.

In our negotiations, there was legitimate concerns raised by the administration concerning the rights of interrogators. And taking language from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, we provide them with legal counsel and certain protections that a reasonable person might view as carrying out of orders, not to contradict the Nuremberg decision, which, of course, said that obeying orders is not a sufficient defense.
Read the full text of his remarks. National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley discussed the McCain Amendment at a press briefing [transcript] later in the afternoon.

 

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