Right Thinking From The Left Coast
No legacy is so rich as honesty - William Shakespeare

McCain on “Stress Positions”
by Lee

For all his faults, there’s a lot to like about McCain.

WALLACE: How would you fight the War on Terror differently than it’s being fought now?

J. MCCAIN: I would probably announce the closing of Guantanamo Bay. I would move those detainees to Fort Leavenworth. I would announce we will not torture anyone.

I would announce that climate change is a big issue, because we’ve got some image problems in the world. I think that we’ve got to understand — diplomatic, intelligence-wise.

Clearly, in the area of, quote, “propaganda,” in the area of the war of ideas, we are not winning as much as — well, in some ways we are behind.

And speaking of torture…

WALLACE: Senator, you talked about torture. Former CIA Director Tenet now says that the intelligence that they got from harsh interrogation techniques against some of these big Al Qaida types, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the intelligence they got from them using, reportedly, things like water-boarding, extreme temperatures, was more valuable than all the other CIA and FBI programs.

Were you wrong? I mean, this is the CIA, former CIA director, saying this. Were you wrong to limit what CIA interrogators could do?

J. MCCAIN: A man I admire more than anyone else, General Jack Vessey, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, battlefield commission, told me once — he said, “John, any intelligence information we might gain through the use of torture could never, ever counterbalance the image that it does — the damage that it does to our image in the world.”

I agree with him. Look at the war in Algeria. Look, the fact is if you torture someone, they’re going to tell you anything they think you want to know. It is an affront to everything we stand for and believe in.

It’s interesting to me that every retired military officer, whether it be Colin Powell or whether it be former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — everybody who’s been in war doesn’t want to torture people and think that it’s the wrong thing to do. And history shows that.

We cannot torture people and maintain our moral superiority in the world.

Yes.  Hell fucking yes.  Hell goddamned fucking yes.  Christ, it’s good to hear a candidate say this.

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 02:39 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by Sean Galbraith on 04/30/07 at 03:33 PM from St. Pierre and Miquelon

If anyone wants to know exactly why McCain, and everyone else who has been saying this from day one, is right.. take a listen to this episode of This American Life. If you’re going to torture people, you might as well hear why you’re doing it in the first place. Frankly, if you listen to this episode and still think the current plan is viable or moral or passes the laugh test, you’re a monster.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/30/07 at 04:08 PM from United States

Everybody who’s been in war doesn’t want to torture people

And yet somehow we have a former frat boy who flew in the Champagne Squadron who thinks he’s an expert on what’s acceptable for the people at Gitmo to do.

Posted by on 04/30/07 at 05:40 PM from United States

I can’t get behind McCain no matter how good he sounds on issues like this.  He’s responsible for campaign finance reform that, IMHO, lead to every congress member who voted for it violating their oath to uphold the constitution, the president violating his oath in NOT vetoing it, and the supreme court justices who did NOT rule against it also violating their oaths.  It’s true all those people are detestable, but it’s a horrible breakdown of the system of checks and balances - and it all started with this motherfucker and his bill.  I hate this man, I would rather see the Hildabeast in office than this guy.  Yes, I’ll cut my nose off to spite my face.  Fuck him.  I do not want this man representing our country, he is unprincipled, unless the principle happens to be “to appear to be doing the right thing.” ... Which, by the way, you might be able to argue is the basis for his view on this subject too.

Posted by Lee on 04/30/07 at 05:52 PM from United States

I can’t get behind McCain no matter how good he sounds on issues like this.  He’s responsible for campaign finance reform that, IMHO, lead to every congress member who voted for it violating their oath to uphold the constitution, the president violating his oath in NOT vetoing it, and the supreme court justices who did NOT rule against it also violating their oaths

Bingo.  This is a classic example of the “do something” effect.  The public is told by various interest groups that the “problem” in Washington is too much money being thrown around.  They want Congress to “do something” about it.  So McCain and Feingold come up with their CFR bill, which fits the description of “something.” In the absence of a viable alternative, everyone started to sign on to “something” so they could claim to their constitutents that they were in favor of “doing something,” thus denying their opponents the opportunity to claim that they are “doing nothing.”

Everyone knew this piece of shit was blatantly unconstitutional.  But they passed the buck.  The legislators voted for it and figured the president would veto it.  That way they get to claim that they “did something” but the president blocked it.  The president, wanting to appear like he was “doing something,” signed the CFR bill, assuming that the SCOTUS would rightly declare it unconstitutional.  Then he could claim that he “did something” but those activist judges prevented it.

But then they didn’t.  Oops, so solly.  Now this piece of shit CFR law is official.  In our quest to “do something” we did exactly the wrong thing.

Interestingly, this exact same dynamic was at work in the months after 9/11 as both the Patriot Act and the Iraq War Authorization were passed.  Everyone wanted to be seen as “doing something.”

This is the difference between a libertarian and everyone else.  A libertarian, in virtually all circumstances, would prefer the government to “do nothing” rather than “do something,” no matter what the something happens to be.

Posted by on 04/30/07 at 06:00 PM from United States

Right on Lee.  Also check out his comment on climate change above.  That’s totally the “to appear to be doing the right thing” position to take.  No, this is not the man to lead the country.  No way, no how.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 04/30/07 at 08:38 PM from United States

What I like about McCain is that he doesn’t take the Bush position of “Our way or the highway.” He understands that you actually have to work with other countries if you want to get things done.

I still say McCain’s last shot was in 2000 and we would have gotten a better man and a better president out of the deal and that as things stand today his time has probably come and gone. As it is, I wouldn’t mind seeing him as Secretary of Defense in a Giuliani administration.

Posted by mooresucksass on 05/01/07 at 12:04 AM from United States

“We cannot torture people and maintain our moral superiority in the world.”

I agree with this statement- but him saying this is not enough to warrant support for the Presidency.... because he is still saying completely idiot things like this:

“I would announce that climate change is a big issue”—Moron McCain

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