Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Joe Lieberman Votes with Fellow Republicans for Waterboarding

>>UPDATED below <<

The Senate narrowly voted against the practice of waterboarding with no help from Republican-lite Joe Lieberman. Ohio's George Voinovich and nearly 40 other Republicans thought that waterboarding was just fine for our democracy. The complete vote is here.

There were a few surprises in the voting. Nebraska's two senators voted against their parties, Democrat Nelson voting for the torture practice and Republican Hagel voting no. Oregon's Gordon Smith, a Republican in a very blue state, voted no as did both of Maine's Republican senators, Snowe and Collins.

It will be interesting to see how the hometown voters will view those senators who voted for waterboarding. John Sununu of New Hampshire and Norm Coleman of Minnesota, both Republicans up for reelection this fall, voted for waterboarding. Apparently their internal polling suggested that their constituents favored this legislation.

UPDATE Feb. 14 8 AM

This from YahooNews:

WASHINGTON - A senior Justice Department official says laws and other limits enacted since three terrorism suspects were waterboarded has eliminated the technique from what is now legally allowed, going a step beyond what CIA Director Michael Hayden has said.

"The set of interrogation methods authorized for current use is narrower than before, and it does not today include waterboarding," Steven G. Bradbury, acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, says in remarks prepared for his appearance Thursday before the House Judiciary Constitution subcommittee.

"There has been no determination by the Justice Department that the use of waterboarding, under any circumstances, would be lawful under current law," he said. It is the first time the department has expressed such an opinion publicly.

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