Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Arcuri Votes Against Videotaped Interrogations

You'd have to have your head in the sand not to know that the widespread use of torture has wrecked the reputation of the United States of America. The story, which should have been over with departure of George W. Bush from the White House, has been unfortunately continued with Barack Obama's insistence that he will violate the Freedom of Information Act by concealing photographic evidence of torture. Obama's coverup is keeping America's torture in the news, proving that it's the coverup, as much as the torture itself, that damages America's position in the world.

Last week, Representative Rush Holt introduced a common sense amendment to this year's Defense appropriations bill. The amendment will, if it is included in the equivalent Senate legislation, require the military to videotape all its interrogations, excepting those tactical interrogations that take place on the battlefield and cannot be taped because of practical considerations.

This bill protects interrogators as much as it protects the prisoners being interrogated. It also ensures that the intelligence collected by the military will be accurate, protecting soldiers and government agents who will depend upon that intelligence in dangerous situations. It's for these reasons that, earlier this year, a military task force requested the policy of required videotaping of interrogations.

Yet, for Representative Mike Arcuri, that isn't good enough. Arcuri voted against the Holt Amendment, ignoring military advice and leaving interrogations in the dark ages of Bush and Cheney. Arcuri's vote was bad for American soldiers, and bad for the reputation of the USA.

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