Groups laud anti-torture measure

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs lauded an anti-torture bill passed by the U.S. Senate.

“As Jews and as Americans, we have been deeply troubled by the United States’ use of torture and cruel interrogations techniques,” the public policy umbrella group said in a statement released Thursday, the day the bill passed.

The bill would apply the Army Field Manual interrogation rules – which hew closely to Geneva Conventions standards – to all U.S. agencies. The CIA has reportedly used torture techniques, including waterboarding, a simulation of drowning.

The bill “creates a single humane standard for the treatment of all detainees in U.S. custody,” the JCPA’s statement said. “It clearly delineates which acts are permissible from those which constitute torture.”

The Reform movement also lauded passage of the act.

“If signed into law, this provision would bring a definitive end to the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ by the CIA and other federal agencies, including the controversial practice of waterboarding,” the Reform movement’s Religious Action Center said in a statement. “We commend Congress for not backing down in the face of powerful, yet misguided, opposition.”

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