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Senate approves bill on interrogation guidelines

The bill containing new guidelines on interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects.

india Updated: Sep 29, 2006 22:38 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India

The US Senate gave its final stamp of approval for a bill containing new guidelines on interrogation and prosecution of terrorism suspects, a legislation desperately wanted by the Bush Administration.

But the passage of the bill by a 65 to 34 vote came not before lawmakers rejected crucial amendments including the right of haebus corpus to detainees.

Among the Senators favouring the bill, 53 were Republicans and 12 Democrats. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island was the lone Republican who joined Democrats to oppose it.

President George W Bush, who had personally appealed to Congress to approve the legislation, welcomed its passage.

"I applaud Congress for passing legislation that will provide our men and women in uniform with the necessary resources to protect our country and win the war on terror. As our troops risk their lives to fight terrorism, this bill will ensure they are prepared to defeat today's enemies and address tomorrow's threats. I look forward to signing this bill into law," Bush said.

Noting that the bill "recognizes that we are a nation at war," Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said, "we are not conducting a law-enforcement operation against a cheque-writing scam or trying to foil a bank heist."

"We are at war against extremists who want to kill our citizens, cripple our economy and discredit the principles we hold dear -- freedom and democracy," he said.

But Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid argued that voting for the bill would be a "grave error."

He stressed that while the national security policies of this administration and Republican Congress may have been tough, they have not been smart.

First Published: Sep 29, 2006 22:38 IST