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The Washington Independent

Rep. Reyes Introduces a Measure Re-Criminalizing Torture

Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, introduced an amendment to the 2010 intelligence authorization bill imposing a

Habiba Ashton
News
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Feb 25, 2010

Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-Texas), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, introduced an amendment to the 2010 intelligence authorization bill imposing a 15-year criminal sentence on any “officer or employee of the intelligence community” who tortures a detainee. (Twenty years if the torture involves an “act of medical malfeasance”; life if the detainee dies.)

Specifically, the proposed Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Interrogations Prohibition Act proscribes “forcing the individual to be naked, perform sexual acts or pose in a sexual manner” — a la Abu Ghraib — “beatings, electrical shock, burns, or inflicting physical pain; waterboarding; using military working dogs; inducing hypothermia” — it happened at Guantanamo to Mohammed al-Qatani — sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation, denial of medical care, “using force or the threat of force”; “mock executions;” religious desecration in an intelligence context; “sensory deprivation”; “prolonged isolation”; “placing hoods or sacks over the heads of the individual;” “exploiting the phobias of the individual” and more. Basically, it clarifies that the entire parade of outside-the-Army-Field-Manual-on-Interrogation horrors during the Bush administration are criminal acts. We’ll see if this ever actually makes it to President Obama’s desk.

The CIA declined to comment on pending legislation.

Habiba Ashton | BCS Growth Fund (Israel) L.P., a private investment fund specializing in investments in technologically focused businesses with high growth potential, employs Habiba as an analyst. Mrs. Ashton served as an analyst and information manager at the Israel International Fund, the first Israeli venture capital fund designed specifically for Japanese corporate investors, prior to joining BCS. Habiba graduated with honors from Israel's College of Management with a B.A. in Business Administration.

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