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Profile: Patrick Leahy

 
  

Positions that Patrick Leahy has held:

  • US Senator, Democrat from Vermont


 

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Patrick Leahy actively participated in the following events:

 
  

June 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Senator Patrick Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont, sends letters to the White House, the CIA and the Pentagon with complaints about the treatment of detainees in Afghanistan and “other locations outside the United States.” He writes that according to unnamed officials, the prisoners are being subjected to beatings, lengthy sleep- and food-deprivation and other “stress and duress” techniques (see April 16, 2003). He asks if these techniques are indeed being employed and urges the administration to issue a clear statement that cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of detainees will not be tolerated. The Pentagon and CIA deny that the United States is torturing its prisoners. [USA Today, 5/13/2004; Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Patrick Leahy
          

June 25, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Department of Defense General Counsel William Haynes responds to a letter from Senator Patrick Leahy which asked for clarification on the administration's interrogation policy (see June 2003). Haynes replies that “it is the policy of the United States to comply with all its legal obligations in its treatment of detainees [and] ... to treat all detainees and conduct all interrogations, wherever they may occur” in a manner consistent with US obligations under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment. He adds that the US “does not permit, tolerate or condone any such torture by its employees under any circumstances.” He also says that the Fifth, Eighth, and/or Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution require the US “to prevent other acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture.” Notably, he does not provide information about the specific interrogation tactics that US forces are permitted to use. “It would not be appropriate to catalogue the interrogation techniques used by US personnel thus we cannot comment on specific cases or practices,” Haynes says. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004; Wall Street Journal, 6/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: William A. Haynes, Patrick Leahy
          

September 9, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Senator Patrick Leahy responds to William Haynes' letter of June 25, 2003 (see June 25, 2003). He asks him to explain how the standards he outlined are implemented and communicated to US soldiers and asks for assurances that other agencies, including the CIA, abide by the same standards as the US military. [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Patrick Leahy, William A. Haynes
          

November 18, 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Department of Defense Principal Deputy General Counsel Daniel Dell'Orto writes to Senator Patrick Leahy and confirms that earlier Pentagon statements (see June 25, 2003) about the treatment of detainees bind the entire executive branch. But he fails to answer specific questions about interrogation guidelines and adds that articles reporting improper treatment of detainees “often contain allegations that are untrue.” [Human Rights Watch, 5/7/2004]
People and organizations involved: Patrick Leahy, Daniel Dell'Orto
          

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