Senators add torture ban to spending bill

Legislators defy president
The U.S. Senate has defied President Bush, voting overwhelmingly to amend a Pentagon spending bill to ban “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone in U.S. military custody. The amendment passed October 5 on a 90-9 vote. All nine who opposed it are Republicans.

The bill comes in response to hundreds of reports of torture and abuse —documented by the Red Cross and the military itself—at U.S. facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan and at the army base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Such cases gained prominence after photographs and reports of sexual abuse of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison outside Baghdad caused a scandal.


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