WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Kit Bond, Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, today called the Intelligence Authorization bill the Democrats’ latest political casualty. Bond criticized an amendment added to the bill that would handcuff our law enforcement and intelligence agents and ensure a veto.
“For the fourth straight year the Democrats have chosen to make a bill critical to strengthening our intelligence community their latest political casualty,” said Bond.
Senate Intelligence Committee members completed work today on the Intelligence Authorization bill. Bond was forced to vote against the bill after his Democratic colleagues added a bill-killing provision that would impair our interrogation operations – which have produced some of the best sources of intelligence in the war on terror since the 9-11 attacks. The amendment would limit the CIA and FBI to only those interrogation tactics listed in the publicly available U.S. Army’s Field Manual on Interrogation.
Bond criticized his colleagues for continuing to rehash an old debate in order to score political points. Bond stressed that the CIA is prohibited by treaty and law from using torture or cruel, degrading or inhuman techniques, and does not use such techniques.
Bond explained that this concern with the bill-killing Field Manual Provision is not what the amendment prohibits, but that only a short list of publicly known techniques would be allowed. The amendment would limit all agencies to only the nineteen techniques that are permitted in the Field Manual, which would exclude many lawful and morally permissible techniques. Considering the wide availability of the Field Manual on the internet there is no doubt that Al Qaeda and other terrorist organization are training their operatives to resist these few techniques.
Bond said, “I proposed an alternative that would ban the CIA from using the techniques prohibited in the Army Field Manual, unfortunately, today politics won over common sense and our national security. The provision in the final bill would tie the hands of our terror fighters and could lead to the loss of information that could prevent another major attack on our homeland.”
Bond supports the majority of the Intelligence Authorization bill, which includes additional authorities for the DNI to improve information sharing and conduct accountability reviews and measures that address excessive cost growth in major acquisition programs. Unfortunately, Bond was forced to vote against the Intelligence Authorization bill because of the harmful Army Field Manual amendment. Unless this and several other problematic amendments are removed, Bond would support the President’s expected veto of the bill.