The Senate votes against torture


“Historic” is a word that should be used sparingly. But when a Senate with 55 Republicans votes 90-9 to defy a Presidential veto threat and establish legally binding protections against maltreatment for all captives in American hands, that’s not business as usual.

I had been suffering from the gloomy feeling that politicians’ reluctance to raise the torture issue (yes, Sen. Kerry, I’m looking at you) reflected a correct sense of where the median voter stood on the issue.

So what changed? Two things, I think. John McCain decided that, now that Bush is down, it’s time to kick him. And one brave man stood up and spoke out.

Who gets to play Capt. Ian Fishback in the movie?

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: