Via Congressman Markey's Office: The Republican leadership has released the version of the 9/11 Commission bill that will go before the full House this week. Here is a PDF version. The torture outsourcing provisions are still there. (Sections 3032 and 3033, pages 254-258.)
I didn't have much hope otherwise. I'm still pretty depressed right now.
The Senate version doesn't include the language legalizing extraordinary rendition. But given that the D.O.J. apparently requested these provisions and given the routine exclusion of Democrats and moderates from conference committees on major bills, I would be very very surprised if they were not included in the bill that comes out of conference.
Senate Democrats and moderate Republicans will probably not vote against, let alone filibuster, the bill based on this issue. Not the 9/11 Bill, not in an election year. They remember the Homeland Security Bill and the 2002 midterms. They remember how a triple amputee was successfully painted as soft on defense and this led to the loss of the Senate. I don't think it's farfetched to say that Hastert and DeLay remember too, and that it's part of the reason for the anti-immigration provisions in the bill. Heads they win, tails Democrats lose. Maybe they can even have it both ways: pass the bill AND get a few conscience-ridden Democrats to oppose it and give them negative ad fodder.
So if I had to guess, I would tell you that Markey's amendment is our last, best hope of stopping this.
I'm not very optimistic about its chances if the press--apart from the estimable Dana Priest and Charles Babington*--does not begin reporting on this. I'm also not optimistic about the chances of getting the press to report on this. If the whole liberal blogosphere jumped up and down and waved their arms at once, maybe. But there is a whole lot of other stuff going on and I think in general we lack the requisite, obsessive compulsive je ne sais quoi that got certain other stories noticed.
But I am as obsessive as they come, and will keep posting incessantly on this. Please do anything you can to help. Write a weblog post. Email your Congressman, or better yet call. (If you get a response about your Representative's position, please post it in the comments or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org). Email friends or family members you think would be interested. As
*who clearly did not get the story from Obsidian Wings, by the way, much as I'd like to take credit.