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I’m paraphrasing on this, as I take notes during the debate on the Senate floor this morning regarding the Republican Torture Ratification Bill.

"We have been known as the nation of Nuremburg. I fear that we will now be known as the nation of Guantanimo." — Sen. Christopher Dodd

"We can export freedom across the globe, but at the same time we are cutting it out in our own country. What hypocrisy!" — Sen. Patrick Leahy

"Either we are a nation that stands against this cruel and unusual torture and for the rule of law. Or we are not. We cannot have it both ways." — Sen. Russ Feingold

I will update as things go. Please feel free to share in the comments on what you’ve found illuminating as well.

UPDATETaylor has the text of some remarks from Sen. Kerry at Johns Hopkins earlier this morning:

We must start treating our moral authority as a precious national asset that does not limit our power but magnifies our influence. That seems obvious, but this Administration still doesn’t get it. Right now – today — they are trying to rush a bill through Congress that will fundamentally undermine our moral authority, put our troops at greater risk, and make our country less safe.

Let me be clear about something—something that it seems few people are willing to say. This bill permits torture. It gives the President the discretion to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions. No matter how much well-intended United States Senators would like to believe otherwise, it gives an Administration that lobbied for torture just what it wanted.

The only guarantee we have that these provisions really will prohibit torture is the word of the President. But we have seen in Iraq the consequences of simply accepting the word of this Administration. No, we cannot just accept the word of this Administration that they will not engage in torture given that everything they’ve already done and said on this most basic question has already put our troops at greater risk and undermined the very moral authority needed to win the war on terror.

Sen. Kerry is scheduled to speak on the floor of the Senate later today as well. Sen. Feinstein is speaking now and has indicated that she also does not support the bill — is hitting the right notes on habeas corpus and coerced testimony.

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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