McCain: Standing Up Or Standing Down On Torture?
Senate Republicans have spoken up against torture on several occasions in the past. But the big question today will be whether their actions will match up with their votes. As Sen. John McCain said during the GOP YouTube Debate on CNN:
"I would hope that we would understand, my friends, that life is not 24 and Jack Bauer. Life is interrogation techniques which are humane and yet effective. And I just came back from visiting a prison in Iraq. The army general there said that techniques under the army field manual are working and working effectively, and he didn’t think they need to do anything else. My friends, this is what America is all about."
Since the Bush Administration has flat out said they’ve used waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" techniques on prisoners held in our custody over the last few years, and since they utterly repudiated McCain’s prior attempt at limiting their conduct with his anti-torture provision being smacked down with a "no thanks, Bub" signing statement, can we expect Sen. McCain to show up and speak out on behalf of Sec. 327 of the Senate’s Intelligence Authorization Conference Report (H.Rept. 110-478 accompanying H.R. 2082) which provides:
SEC. 327. LIMITATION ON INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES. (a) Limitation- No individual in the custody or under the effective control of an element of the intelligence community or instrumentality thereof, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations….
So, what will McCain choose today? Will he go along with the Bush/Cheney unilateral executive fiat at any cost or actually show up today to stand up against torture?
ThinkProgress has more. As does KagroX at DKos and Americablog. And dday has a horrid bonus quote from Justice Scalia that illustrates the "24 as reality" mindset perfectly — and why it is important that every Senator who has spoken out forcefully against torture put their actions where their mouth is.
Will McCain show at all for the vote? Will his chief toady Lindsay Graham support the standards in the Army Field Manual — or the Dick Cheney whatever it takes brigade? That administration support for McCain doesn’t come cheaply, I’m sure, and I would certainly love to know the terms of the price on that. If McCain was misled by the Bush Administration on this issue — rather than simply duped — now would be the time to set that record straight.
The Bush Administration’s weaselly assurances and half-truths aside, McCain has been far too trusting of them, only acting to curtail their illegal and immoral actions when it was blatantly obvious that they were violating every precept of the military’s long-held code of conduct — and asking our soldiers to do the same as a matter of policy on far too many occasions. What will McCain do today on this issue? Anything? Or not bother to show…again…which seems to be his latest Senatorial M.O. Still waiting for answers to the following from Jack Balkin, too. What say you, St. McCain?