McCain Waffles On Waterboarding: Votes Against Torture Ban
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UPDATE 8:50 pm EST John McCain voted against the waterboarding ban. Details here.
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?
Christy Hardin Smith is a former attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review.