Romney Endorses McCain: Was it His Pro-Torture Vote?
News is nigh that former presidential candidate, Mitt "I'd double Gitmo" Romney, is endorsing John McCain. Given the acrimony of their rivalry on the campaign trail a few weeks back, this is somewhat surprising. But then, yesterday McCain cast a vote that must have made Mitt want to send the elderly statesman a valentine.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were too busy campaigning to attend yesterday's Senate vote to ban waterboarding. But John McCain was there. And despite the fact that he has long stood out among his fellow Republicans in his vocal condemnations of torture, McCain dug deep and found his inner GOP candidate -- and voted "Nay" to a law that would outlaw waterboarding and other "harsh interrogation tactics."
The bill in question -- which passed the Senate 51 to 45 but faces a Bush veto -- limits CIA interrogators to "19 less-aggressive interrogation tactics," as specified by a U.S. Army Field Manual. The manual specifies eight techniques as forbidden, including: waterboarding, mock executions, use of beatings and electric shocks, forced nakedness and sexual acts, and causing hypothermia or heat injuries.
One would think that the man who sponsored the 2006 Detainee Treatment Act -- and who invokes his experience as a POW almost as often as Giuliani said "9/11" -- could get behind such legislation. Instead, McCain issued a 12-paragraph statement explaining why, when presented with the chance to hold the CIA to the standards outlined in the army field manual, he "cannot support such a step."
His explanation was, predictably, tortured. But he ended with a flourish: