Friday, November 11, 2005

Senate Passes Kerry Amendment Demanding Accountability on Secret Prisons

As reported earlier today, John Kerry offered an amendment on the Senate Floor calling for "Reports on Clandestine Detention Facilities." The amendment just passed...

Kerry Legislative Victory Forces Administration to Facilitate Congressional Oversight

In an overwhelming rebuke to the Bush administration’s attempt to hide alleged CIA secret prisons from Congress, the Senate voted 82-9 today in favor of an amendment by John Kerry that will require the Director of National Intelligence to report on the reported clandestine detention facilities.

The Kerry Amendment requires classified reports to Congress providing a full accounting on any clandestine prison or detention facility operated by the United States government, regardless of its location.

The Washington Post reported recently that, “The CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony” about the facilities. Reports indicate that Vice President Cheney discussed the facilities in a meeting with the Republican Caucus.

"I don’t have any doubt in the American public’s determination to win the War on Terror. But I do know that any administration that tries to keep Congress in the dark damages the cause for which we are all fighting," Kerry said during Senate debate on his amendment today.

Details on Kerry's amendment:

· Asserts Congressional oversight in this matter by requiring a classified report by the Director of National Intelligence to the appropriate committees detailing the involvement of the intelligence community in these activities.

· Not later than 60 days after enactment, the Director of National Intelligence must report to the Intelligence Committees of both the House and Senate. In doing so, the Director will provide a detailed accounting of the nature, cost, and operation of any clandestine prison or detention facility operated by the United States government, regardless of location, where detainees from the Global War on Terror are being or have been held.


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