What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Human Rights Abuses : A vote to table (kill) a Democratic amendment to S. 2400, the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act, that would require the Defense Department to provide Congress with a number of reports pertaining to detainees at U.S. military prisons worldwide, including a report on all prisoner interrogation techniques approved by U.S. officials. (2004 senate Roll Call 143)
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A vote to table (kill) a Democratic amendment to S. 2400, the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act, that would require the Defense Department to provide Congress with a number of reports pertaining to detainees at U.S. military prisons worldwide, including a report on all prisoner interrogation techniques approved by U.S. officials.
senate Roll Call 143     Jun 23, 2004
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

Senate conservatives failed garner the votes needed to "table" (set aside) an amendment proposed by Senate Judiciary ranking member Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) to S. 2400, the fiscal year 2005 Defense Authorization Act, that would require the Defense Department to provide Congress with a number of reports pertaining to detainees at U.S. military prisons worldwide, including a report on all prisoner interrogation techniques approved by U.S. officials. Leahy's amendment also would require the Defense Department to submit to Congress all International Committee of the Red Cross reports regarding treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Conservatives argued that the Bush administration has been and is in the midst of handing over all relevant documents that can be shared without compromising national security objectives, and sought to have Leahy's amendment dismissed. However, progressives helped beat back that conservative motion to set Leahy's amendment aside. The vote to table his amendment failed 45-50, reinforcing the Senate's view that the Bush administration has been less than completely forthcoming on the handover of documents pertaining to prisoner abuses. Backers of Leahy's amendment said evidence that has continued to seep out almost daily of similar mistreatment of prisoners in other U.S. military detention centers in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo suggests that the White House is stonewalling the document requests. Progressives further claimed that although White House officials and the political appointees in the Department of Defense have tried to deflect their own responsibility by singling out a few "bad apples" for punishment, the press is uncovering new information which points blame toward those higher up in the chain of command. Said Leahy, "While the president insists that he wants to get to the bottom of this, high-level White House and Pentagon officials refuse to answer questions or to disclose the relevant documents requested by the Congress. They deny any pattern of illegality in the interrogation and treatment of prisoners, while it becomes clearer by the day that this scandal was set in motion by the actions of senior officials." After the Republican tabling motion against Leahy's amendment was defeated, Leahy's proposal was agreed to by a voice vote, meaning the amendment was approved by the chamber overall, but the voting position of individual senators is not recorded.

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