Home National Politics McCain Denounces Torture. What About Other Republicans?!?

McCain Denounces Torture. What About Other Republicans?!?

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I strongly agree with John McCain on this one:

For my part, I would oppose any legislation, if any should be proposed, that is intended to authorize the administration to return to the use of waterboarding or other methods of interrogation that I sincerely believe are torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading, and as such unworthy and injurious to our country…I believe the abuse of prisoners harms, not helps, our war effort. In my personal experience, the abuse of prisoners sometimes produces good intelligence, but often produces bad intelligence. Because under torture, a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear, whether it is true or false, if he thinks it will relieve his suffering. Often information provided to stop the torture is deliberately misleading. And what the advocates of cruel and harsh interrogation techniques can never prove is that we could not have gathered the same intelligence through other, more humane means.

Furthermore, I think it is sincerely unfair to the men and women in our intelligence community and military who labored for a decade to locate Osama bin Laden to claim falsely that they only succeeded because we used torture to extract actionable intelligence from a few detainees several years ago… Ultimately, this debate is about far more than technical or practical issues. It’s about far more than whether torture works or does not work. It’s about far more than utilitarian matters. Ultimately, this is about morality. What is at stake here is the very idea of America, the America whose values have inspired the world, and instilled in the hearts of its citizens the certainty that, no matter how hard we fight, no matter how dangerous our adversary, in the course of vanquishing our enemies, we do not compromise our deepest values.

Brilliant, I can’t imagine anyone expressing this more powerfully or more eloquently. I also can’t imagine anyone more qualified to speak on this subject, based on his personal experience under torture. The question is, what about other tough guy Republicans, Dick Cheney and all the rest, who actually advocate that the United States of America torture people? How on earth can any of these people be seriously considered for public office, or even be considered patriotic Americans, if they believe that? This isn’t a side issue, this is utterly fundamental to what it means to be an American. If you don’t get this, you simply don’t understand what America is all about. Period.

  • Teddy Goodson

    Just when I, for one, had sadly concluded that McCain’s ambitions and ego had destroyed his character, he comes through. Thank you, Senator McCain, for putting to shame the huge number of torture-sponsors in your own party. Will this shut them up for good? Probably not, but one can hope.

  • in the Washington Post:

    I asked CIA Director Leon Panetta for the facts, and he told me the following: The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti – the nickname of the al-Qaeda courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden – as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaeda, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaeda.

    In fact, the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” on Khalid Sheik Mohammed produced false and misleading information. He specifically told his interrogators that Abu Ahmed had moved to Peshawar, got married and ceased his role as an al-Qaeda facilitator – none of which was true. According to the staff of the Senate intelligence committee, the best intelligence gained from a CIA detainee – information describing Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti’s real role in al-Qaeda and his true relationship to bin Laden – was obtained through standard, noncoercive means.

  • Elaine in Roanoke

    The information that John McCain stated about the failure of any information leading to the courier and ultimately to Bin Laden coming from Khalid Sheik Mohammed was reported on CNN when the news first broke. It was not repeated, and when the GOP/Cheney/Bush talking point about the “importance” of “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e., torture, in the apprehension of the mass murderer was sent to the corporate media, I never again heard the truth.

    Sadly, John McCain’s brave statement also will disappear, I feel sure.