Why the New U.S. Torture Ban May Lack Teeth

Amid much fanfare, President Bush reversed course and agreed to back an amendment--sponsored by Arizona Senator John McCain and, until recently, vehemently opposed by the White House--that would ban the torture of prisoners held by the U.S. anywhere in the world. But CIA spooks who interrogate terrorist suspects, such as alleged Sept. 11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, may not need to don kid gloves just yet. U.S. officials conceded to TIME that the White House and McCain, a former Navy POW in Vietnam, made certain the amendment imposes no new penalties for any CIA operatives who violate the ban. "The McCain...

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