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October 13, 2006 12:47 AM UTC

Boulder Dems Condemn Torture, Slam Salazar

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  • by: JO

The Boulder Democratic Party went on record Wed. night (Oct. 12) as condemning the Military Commissions Act that gives President Bush the right to define “torture” however he likes and depriving “enemy combatants” the right of judicial review of their imprisonment.
A resolution passed unanimously at a meeting of the party’s executive committee also called “all Democrats elected to Congress to follow their party’s leadership in opposing attacks on basic Constitutional principles of separation of powers and the right to writs of habeas corpus, and supporting basic human rights granted by Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions.”
This clause was a specific reference to Sen. Kan Salazar, one of just 10 Democrats who voted for the law.
The Boulder Democratic resolution also praised Reps. Mark Udall (CO-2) and Diane DeGette (CD-1) for voting against the law.

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 gave the president the sole right to define interrogation techniques that are NOT torture under the Geneva Conventions, and also explicity denied “enemy combatants” the right to demand a write of haveas corpus, requiring that a judge examine whether they are held for a legitimate reason.
The resolution said:
RESOLVED, that
1. The Democratic Party of Boulder County strongly condemns legislation passed by the U.S. Congress that restricts the Constitutional right of habeas corpus and weakens America’s commitment to civilized behavior as manifested in the Geneva Convention’s ban on torture.
2. Boulder Democrats praise the principled opposition to House Bill 6166 by Representatives Mark Udall and Diana DeGette.
3. Boulder Democrats reaffirm their strong support for a common defense against global threats without sacrificing the nation’s central values.
4. Boulder Democrats call on all Democrats elected to Congress to follow their party’s principles in opposing attacks on basic Constitutional principles of separation of powers and the right to writs of habeas corpus, and supporting basic human rights granted by Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions.
In a statement issued a week after voting for the law, Salazar–one of just 10 Democrats who voted for the law versus 33 who voted against it–said he voted in favor of the bill “to jumpstart the process” of bringing detainees in Guantanamo Bay before military commissions.” He also said he had “fought the Bush Administration’s proposal to abandon the Geneva Convention and allow torture of persons in captivity”–but then voted for the bill anyway with those clauses intact. Many observers have agreed that leaving the definition of torture up to Bush opens the door to practices already in use, such as waterboarding (simulated drowning).

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