[Congressional Record: January 9, 2009 (Extensions)]
[Page E59]                         

                        INTRODUCTION OF H.R. 374


                            HON. JANE HARMAN

                             of california

                    in the house of representatives

                        Friday, January 9, 2009

  Ms. HARMAN. Madam Speaker, today we are introducing legislation that 
will begin a long-needed course correction in U.S. interrogation 
  In the months and years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, I 
repeatedly urged the Bush administration to establish a legal framework 
that allowed the United States to identify, detain, and interrogate 
those who would harm us while protecting our fundamental values. 
Instead, the administration claimed for itself the right to ignore core 
provisions of U.S. law regarding the treatment of detainees. It brushed 
aside international agreements like the Geneva Convention, which have 
both protected our troops and set the bar for human rights.
  The result is that United States has paid a steep price in eroded 
moral authority. We've flouted the very legal protections that we've 
tried to export to the rest of the world. We've undermined the 
international human rights standards that we helped create. And we've 
provided a huge recruiting tool to al Qaeda.
  For many years, the sponsors of this legislation have fought to 
restore respect for the law and human rights to our detention and 
interrogation policies.
  Now, with the election of a new President, we believe that goal is 
within reach. This legislation is an essential first step.
  First, the bill requires the closure of the prison facility at 
Guantanamo Bay. The prison is so widely viewed as illegitimate, so 
plainly inconsistent with America's proud legal traditions, that it has 
become a stinging symbol of our tarnished standing abroad.
  The Supreme Court has brought the curtain down on the legal fiction 
on which the prison was premised. It's time for Congress to take the 
next step and close it permanently.
  Our bill would require the President to close the facility within 1 
year of enactment and give him a range of choices for dealing with the 
detainees. These options include transfer to a detainee's country of 
origin, so long as that country provides certain assurances regarding 
treatment of the detainee; transfer to a facility in the United States 
to be tried before military or civilian authorities, like the first 
1993 World Trade Center bombers, who are currently being held in 
Supermax prisons in the United States; transfer to a qualified 
international tribunal; or, if appropriate, outright release.
  Second, the bill prohibits the interrogation of any individual held 
by a U.S. intelligence agency or its contractors using any technique or 
treatment not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on 
Human Intelligence Collector Operations. Torture and abusive treatment 
is not only contrary to American values, the law, and international 
human rights agreements, there is no evidence that it yields reliable 
intelligence. This legislation will require that our intelligence 
agencies do not engage in such practices.
  Third, the bill forbids the Central Intelligence Agency from using a 
contractor or subcontractor to carry out an interrogation, ending a 
practice that has been fraught with abuse.
  Finally, the bill requires that the intelligence community provide 
the International Committee of the Red Cross with access to any 
individual in its custody, providing transparency and accountability 
that will restore the world's confidence in our detention and 
interrogation practices. The notion that our country essentially 
``disappeared'' some detainees is abhorrent--we are not the Soviet 
Gulag or the Chilean military.
  The portions of the legislation relating to the prison facility at 
Guantanamo Bay are identical to H.R. 2212, which I introduced in the 
110th Congress, and the remaining provisions are identical to 
legislation introduced earlier this week by Senator Dianne Feinstein.
  We urge swift passage in both Chambers.