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McCain will not compromise on proposed anti-torture amendment

[JURIST] US Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) [official website], a Vietnam War veteran who survived capture and torture by the North Vietnamese, said Sunday that he will not concede on his demands for a ban on the use of torture [Meet the Press transcript] to extract information from suspected terrorists. The anti-torture measure, the so-called McCain amendment [JURIST document; advocacy website], passed the Senate by a 90-9 vote [JURIST report] in October and later received unanimous support [JURIST report] in the Senate in a separate voice vote. The amendment would restrict techniques used to interrogate detainees by banning cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and require US troops to follow procedures set by the forthcoming edition of the Army Field Manual [JURIST report]. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley has repeatedly asserted that the US does not torture and abides by international conventions on the treatment of prisoners. The White House [official website] claims that the proposal might prevent interrogators from obtaining information vital to the national security, threatening a presidential veto [PDF statement] of any bill that contains the McCain language. McCain has responded that intelligence gained through torture can be unreliable and that the practice hurts the US reputation abroad. The Boston Globe has more.

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