Sheldon Whitehouse on Homeland Security

Last Updated : Mar 13, 2011

Wiretapping Subpoenas

In June of 2007, Senator Whitehouse issued a press statement noting his support for efforts to obtain subpoenas for Bush administration officials concerning warrantless wiretapping. 

 

Prohibition of Torture

In December of 2007, Senator Whitehouse issued a press statement noting his cosponsorship of legislation to prohibit torture.

 

Push for Answers on Torture

In January of 2008, Senator Sheldon released a press statement noting a letter that he had sent to AG Mukasey asking for clarification on waterboarding and torture. 

 

CIA Tapes

In February of 2008, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting a letter sent to AG Mukasey asking about the destruction of CIA tapes.

 

Waterboarding Investigation

In February of 2008, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting his call for an investigation on the authorization of torture.

 

Safeguards Against Spying

In February of 2008, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting safeguards against government spying.

 

Ban on Torture

In February of 2008, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting a senate measure to ban torture.

 

Bush Veto on Torture

In March of 2008 Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting his opposition to a Presidential veto of a ban on torture.

 

FISA Statements

In April of 2008, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting  a letter sent to AG Mukasey to correct remarks on FISA safeguards.

 

Intelligence Senate Passage of Torture Ban and Detention

In May of 2008, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting his support for legislation that passed the senate to end secret detentions and ban torture.

 

Restoring America's Integrity Act

In August of 2008, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting his support for the Restoring America's Integrity Act.

 

Ban on Secret Detentions

In September of 2008, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting his support for an amendment to place a ban on secret detentions.

 

Executive Orders and Disclosure

In February of 2009, Senator Whitehouse questioned CIA Director Leon Panetta about his willingness to disclose anytime he deviates from executive orders.

 

Truth Commissions

In March of 2009, Senator Whitehouse appeared on MSNBC and spoke about truth commissions. As part of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Whitehouse participated in hearings on whether to establish a commission to investigate potential wrongdoing committed by the Bush Administration

On March 4, 2009 Senator Whitehouse spoke at the committee hearings about the possible creation of such commissions. He stated that the country does not yet know the full extent of measures taken by the Bush administration and it is necessary to return to the rule of law.

The following day, Senator Whitehouse appeared on MSNBC and spoke about the possibility of immunity for certain persons testifying before potential truth commissions.

 

More Light on Torture Authorizations

In April of 2009, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting recent reports that shed more light on torture authorizations.

 

Torture Hearings

On May 12, 2009 Senator Whitehouse appeared on Countdown with Keith Olbermann and spoke about hearings that he was having the following day to discuss torture memos.

The following day, Senator Whitehouse questioned former FBI Supervisory Special Agent Ali Soufan about whether his experience with interrogations has led him to believe that enhanced interrogation techniques authorized under the Bush Administration were effective. Shown below are Senator Whitehouse's opening remarks and that questioning.

 

Intelligence Authorization Bill

In September of 2010, Senator Whitehouse released a press statement noting the passage of the Intelligence Authorization Bill.

 

Official Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens - Final Passage

In November of 2011, the Senate voted on the conference report for the Defense appropriations act for 2012 - HR 1540. This final version of the legislation passed 86-13. Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of the legislation.

Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of the legislation.

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens - Senate Passage

In November of 2011, the Senate voted on the Defense appropriations act for 2012 - S 1867. Part of that legislation was a provision to express the authorization of the military to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens. The only requirement for this was that the person be suspected of allying with al-Qaida. The legislation passed 93-7. Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of the legislation.

Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of the legislation.

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens - Cloture

In November of 2011, the Senate voted on the Defense appropriations act for 2012 - S 1867. Part of that legislation was a provision to express the authorization of the military to arrest and indefinitely detain US citizens. The only requirement for this was that the person be suspected of allying with al-Qaida. The cloture motion passed 88-12. Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of cloture to allow the bill to be considered.

Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of cloture to allow the bill to be considered.

Arrest and Detention of US Citizens - Udall Amendment to Repeal Provision

In November of 2011, the Senate voted on the Defense appropriations bill. This legislation contained provisions to allow for the arrest and indefinite detention of US citizens if they were merely suspected of allying with al-Qaida. Senator Udall offered an amendment to remove this specific section. The attempt failed 38-60. Sheldon Whitehouse voted against the Udall amendment to repeal the authorization for the arrest and indefinate detention of US citizens.

Sheldon Whitehouse voted against the Udall amendment to repeal the authorization for the arrest and indefinate detention of US citizens.

FISA Amendment Acts of 2007

In February of 2008, the Senate voted on the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007. The legislation passed the Senate with bipartisan support 68-29, but was never raised in the House. The legislation primarily contained provisions to allow for the monitoring of terrorists overseas that were a continuation of expired provisions in the Protect America Act. It also granted immunity to telecommunications companies against their customers for giving information to the government without a warrant. Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007.

Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of the FISA Amendment Acts of 2007.

Restore Habeas Corpus

In September of 2009, the Senate voted on an amendment to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners a Guantanamo Bay. The measure received a majority of the votes, but not enough to pass. Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of the measure to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners.

Sheldon Whitehouse voted in favor of the measure to restore habeas corpus rights to the prisoners.

Protect America Act of 2007

The Protect America Act of 2007 dealt with certain aspects of electronic surveillance and the overall war on terror. In the vote to pass the legislation, most Republicans supported the bill and only about 1/3 of the Democrats supported the legislation. Sheldon Whitehouse voted against the Protect America Act of 2007.

Sheldon Whitehouse voted against the Protect America Act of 2007.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-S 185; Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Repeals provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that eliminated the jurisdiction of any court to hear or consider applications for a writ of habeas corpus filed by aliens who have been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as enemy combatants (or who are awaiting such determination) and actions against the United States relating to the detention of such aliens and to military commissions (thus restoring habeas corpus rights existing prior to the enactment of such Act).Allows courts to hear or consider legal challenges to military commissions only as provided by the Code of Military Justice or by a habeas corpus proceeding.

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