URGENT: This is a Must-Win Vote Against Torture. Call Congress Now!

June 10, 2015

The U.S. Senate is considering an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act that would take critical steps to prevent a return to U.S. torture. Amnesty International USA activists are calling on Senators to do the right thing to end this American Torture Story.

This is our first shot in years to codify protections against torture into law. We need to act fast to make sure Senators know how important their vote is on this landmark legislation.

Senators John McCain and Dianne Feinstein have just introduced legislation to help ensure the American Torture Story is never repeated. The legislation – introduced as an amendment to a defense authorization bill – would require interrogations of all U.S. detainees to adhere to a common rulebook, which bans “techniques” like waterboarding and forced nudity.

The amendment is a needed legislative reform, and comes not a moment too soon. Just last week we learned shocking new allegations of sexual abuse and waterboarding of Majid Khan, a detainee who was held in the agency’s secret detention program and who remains at Guantanamo.

A new report by Reuters reveals even more excruciating methods

This is the American Torture Story—and you can stop the United States from torturing again, today.

Torture is currently banned for all U.S. officials by an executive order that President Obama signed in 2009. But the president’s order is extremely vulnerable: a future administration can easily revoke all the protections set forth in the order. And with people like former vice president Dick Cheney saying “I’d do it again in a minute,” that’s a real possibility.

Codifying these protections into law with the McCain-Feinstein amendment is a necessary step to help prevent the U.S. from returning to torture, no matter who sits in the Oval Office.

5 minutes of your day could help prevent the U.S. from returning to torture in the name of national security.

Please phone your Senator’s office to show your support for the amendment.

Here’s what to do:

  1. Call the Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or look up your Senator’s phone number.
  2. Ask to for your Senator, and say:


“This is [My Name] from [My State] calling to urge the Senator to vote YES on Senate Amendment 1889 introduced by Senators McCain and Feinstein to help prevent acts of torture by U.S. personnel. The legislation would send a message to every would-be perpetrator of torture that torture is wrong, it violates human rights, and it is never acceptable. We need this legislation.

[Continue with whichever of these you prefer]

  • “The current safeguards in place against torture can easily be revoked by the next administration. The Senate must make sure that no future president can allow a return to torture.”
  • “Just last week there was shocking news about one detainee’s alleged treatment by the CIA between 2003 and 2006 that had never before been made public. We have to make sure that these terrible acts are not allowed to happen again.”
  • “The United States was a leader in efforts to establish the UN Convention Against Torture. This amendment would be an important symbol of support for the global movement against torture at a crucial time.”

I hope we can count on Senator [X] to vote YES on the McCain-Feinstein amendment. This is a crucial vote on an issue that cannot be ignored. Thank you!”

It only takes 5 minutes, and could make a world of difference.

Once you’ve made the call, let us know by emailing [email protected]. Thank you!