3:55 PM EDT

Edward J. Markey, D-MA 7th

Mr. MARKEY. Mr. Chairman, the amendment which I am offering today is a simple one. It serves to reaffirm the United States' commitment to the Convention Against Torture. It does this by prohibiting the use of funds in contravention of laws and regulations promulgated to implement the Convention Against Torture.

Now, this may all seem very familiar, because I offered essentially the same amendment to three appropriation bills on this House floor last year, and each time the amendment was adopted with near unanimity. And since those votes, we also passed the amendment of Senator McCain, which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees under the law.

But President Bush, in his signing statement of that bill, announced that he did not feel bound by the restrictions on this administration's ability to be able to torture individuals who come within the protection of the United States Government. The Bush administration says that it can choose to ignore what the United States Congress says and actually what the President signs, a bill which binds him to implement.

This House cannot and should not allow the administration to get away with simply ignoring laws enacted by Congress. This is particularly the case when we are talking about torture, where the international reputation of our Nation is at stake.

In addition to refraining from the practice of torture under international law, we also have a responsibility as a Nation that we not outsource torture to other countries, that is, that we render, that we extraordinarily render prisoners who we have captured to other countries which we know engage in torture, and accept as a promise from that country they will not torture these individuals, even though these countries are on the list of the State Department as countries that we know engage in


This policy must be rejected by this House. We should not and cannot undermine our standing as the international leader in human rights by allowing for the outsourcing of torture in the name of the United States to fight terrorism, because we send a signal to the rest of the world that we are not willing to abide by the rules that we say we intend for the rest of the world to adopt.

And make no mistake, that is what this country is doing when it carries out renditions of prisoners that we have captured to notorious human rights' violators; it is outsourcing torture. It must be rejected. I urge an ``aye'' vote on my amendment.