The former general and secretary of state strongly backs the McCain Amendment banning abuse and torture of detainees:

KING: We’re back with General Powell, touching a few bases. We hope to have him on quite a bit to talk about a lot of his endeavors.

You publicly broke with the administration earlier this year, supporting Senate amendment 1977, the treatment of detainees. How is that coming along, by the way?

POWELL: Well, I wrote a letter supporting Senator McCain’s amendment. And the day the letter hit, the Senate voted on it and they passed that amendment 90-9. And I think that’s a pretty strong statement on the part of the Senate. And I hope the House responds accordingly.

All that amendment asks for is for American soldiers to follow the Army Field Manual. The field manual contains our doctrine and the way we’re supposed to behave. It’s our doctrine.

(CROSSTALK) POWELL: I have no idea why they would be against it, but the president is against it and the administration is against it because they think it will constrain them in some ways with respect to, I guess, interrogation of detainees.

But we have such a problem in this regard that I think it’s important that the Congress take a stand on this. Congress, under the Constitution, Article I, Section 8, is the body that makes laws and regulations governing the armed forces. They’re not telling the administration what to put in this field manual.

They’re saying, if it’s a field manual and it’s guidance to the troops, what’s wrong with the United States Congress also endorsing that? And so I hope that the amendment does pass either in the defense authorization or the appropriation bill.

Did you hear that, Senators Allard and Inhofe?


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