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Cheney, in Opposition to the Senate, Continues to Advocate Torture

At the end of a recent luncheon of Senate Republicans, US vice president Cheney asked that staffers leave the room so he could address the senators in private. Once this was done Cheney gave an impassioned speech opposing an anti-torture amendment that was added to a defence spending bill. The bill, complete with the amendment, was approved by the senate 90-9.

Authored by Senator John McCain, the amendment would make defense funding conditional on the US military banning the use of "cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment" during interrogation of prisoners. The Bush administration, however, wants the CIA exempted from the ban and has threatened a veto of the bill.

McCain, however, will not accept any exemptions and says that if the bill does not pass with the amendment intact he and his co-sponsors will add the amendment to any significant legislation passing through the senate. Unlike Cheney and Bush, McCain fought in Vietnam and was himself tortured while a prisoner of war.

Sources here and here.

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