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Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2006

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Location: Washington, DC


DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006. -- (House of Representatives - June 20, 2005)

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Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Chairman, this issue has a special relevance to each of us because, we actually name the young men and women who go to these academies. And each of us take this responsibility with a great deal of responsibility.

And to the parents who entrust these children, these young men and woman, to us and through us to the academies, there is an expectation that regardless of the religion of any of these families, that they will, on the one hand, be able to fully practice their religion, but at the same time they will also be free from coercion of other religions as they leave home for the first time.

So we have, I think, the greatest responsibility because we play a role in selecting these young men and women to ensure that they are protected and that their parents, their families, back home are protected from the beliefs which they are sent with being attacked or undermined by those that do not respect the beliefs that those young people brought with them. So I agree that this amendment is absolutely essential and that the statement must come from this body of all bodies on this most important of issues.

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Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

The Clerk read as follows:

Amendment offered by Mr. Markey:

At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:

TITLE X--ADDITIONAL GENERAL PROVISIONS

SEC. 10001. None of the funds made available in this Act may be used in contravention of the following laws enacted or regulations promulgated to implement the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (done at New York on December 10, 1984):

(1) Section 2340A of title 18, United States Code.

(2) Section 2242 of the Foreign Affairs Reform and Restructuring Act of 1998 (division G of Public Law 105-277; 112 Stat. 2681-822; 8 U.S.C. 1231 note) and any regulations prescribed thereto, including regulations under part 208 of title 8, Code of Federal Regulations, and part 95 of title 22, Code of Federal Regulations.

Mr. MARKEY (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read and printed in the RECORD.

The CHAIRMAN. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Massachusetts?

There was no objection.

Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, the amendment I am offering deals with the issue of the outsourcing of torture. It is identical to amendments that this House has previously approved to the emergency supplemental appropriations bill in March and the State-Justice appropriations last week. Very simply, it states that none of the funds appropriated in this bill may be spent in contravention of laws and regulations adopted to implement the convention against torture.

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Mr. MARKEY. I thank the gentleman for his acceptance. I will try to conclude briefly on my time so that the House can understand what it is that they are accepting.

The convention against torture is a treaty signed by the United States under President Ronald Reagan, and it was ratified by the Senate in 1994. It prohibits any use of torture or other cruel or degrading treatment. It also prohibits the outsourcing of torture by sending people to any country where there is a reasonable likelihood that they will face torture.

My amendment simply ratifies America's commitment to the convention. It does not change current law. It is a simple funding restriction aimed at underscoring to all of the defense and intelligence agencies funded under this bill that they need to ensure that all of their activities are fully compliant with America's treaty obligations and with the requirements of United States law and regulation.

It is wrong for the United States to capture prisoners, put them on Gulfstreams and fly them to Syria or Uzbekistan with the assurance given by those countries which we know are human rights abusers that they will not torture prisoners. If the United States captures a prisoner, we should keep that prisoner in our possession, or send him to a country which has the same values which we have. But it would be wrong to continue to engage in a process where we send these prisoners to Syria, for example, which administers electrical shocks, pulling out of fingernails, forcing prisoners to engage in inhumane acts.

I thank the chairman of the subcommittee for his acceptance of this amendment.

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