Thursday, February 14, 2008

McCain and Torture: Another Look

Way back when (before I really got a good look at him), I had a lot of respect for John McCain. Yeah, I know, it was naive of me, and I'd actually been flirting with that whole "Rethug with a human face" thing. In August of 2005 I even posted an entry about Bill Orally lecturing McCain (of all people) about torture:

O'Reilly: "Cheney doesn't want any restrictions on the detainee interrogations. OK? And he's adamant about it."
. . .
McCain: "Don't think that you get anything out of torture, Bill, because you don't. And I know that for a fact." [Emphasis added]
And later that year, McCain led a drive to put anti-torture language into a military spending bill. In 2006 McCain sponsored the Detainee Treatment Act which included a ban on waterboarding, which Der Monkey Fuehrer essentially invalidated by one of those nifty little "signing statements" arrogating to himself the authority to just ignore any law that he doesn't agree with.

So let's fast-forward to yesterday: A former POW who was tortured by the North Vietnamese (and even a couple of Cubans, if you can believe Grandpa McCain's claims) for five-and-a-half years, who, in spite of what he told Orally three years ago, in spite of leading the anti-torture addition to the "defense" spending bill, in spite of sponsoring a bill to outlaw waterboarding just two years ago, has now fallen into lockstep with the rest of neofascists in the Senate and voted against this year's bill to prevent waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques.

I guess he was "against torture before he was for it". And the wingnuttery had the balls to accuse the last Democratic candidate of flip-flopping.

So much for the Straight Talk Express man. I really miss him, but without him giving up his soul and sucking up to the Rethug power structure, his campaign would be dead in the water. He's already (if you can actually believe that) in trouble with the fundo-Xian über-conservative wing of the party, but isn't afraid to give up all of his core beliefs, deny his own history and his senatorial record in order to win the presidency.

Props to McCain's fellow Republicans, Susan Collins, Chuck Hagel, Richard Lugar, Gordon Smith and Olympia Snowe for breaking step with their own party and recognizing that the United States still ought to stand for something.

And here's a hint to Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton (despite the troubling fact that YOU were both AWOL for that vote): When you get in that first debate with McCain, point out to him and to rest of the world: "On February 13, you voted for torture".

Grandpa McCain has given you a precious gift. Accept it with humble grace and use it with reckless abandon.

30 Comments:

pepsiholic said...

Hey Farns... why is it OK to waterboard our military pilots and special forces trainees but not terrorists?

Why does Farns care more about the wellbeing of terrorists than he does for the people in the military?

Farnsworth68 said...

Why do you hate America so much?

pepsiholic said...

Why do you keep on calling me a liberal?

pepsiholic said...

Why do you keep on calling me a liberal?

Farnsworth68 said...

No, really. Why do you hate America so much?

pepsiholic said...

Hey farns, found another comic I think you would like... I thought of you when I read this panel

Farnsworth68 said...

Why do you hate America so much?

pepsiholic said...

Uh and farns... at least McCain has some values. What does Obama stand for other than "change". You've sang Puff the magic dragon... well, now you can sing Obama the empty suit. Just think... all you poor liberals can now get rid of your white guilt by electing a black man!!!

pepsiholic said...

"When you get in that first debate with McCain, point out to him and to rest of the world: "On February 13, you voted for torture"."

And McCain can come back and say" On February 12th, your Houston office had the Cuban flag on the wall with Che's picture on it. Mr. Obama, why do you support a murderous communist revolutionary? Is he a role model to you? You're an empty suit, something has to fill it.

Farnsworth68 said...

Anyone who says it's okay to waterboard our troops must hate this country.
Why do you hate America so much?

pepsiholic said...

Hey Farns, did you take your meds today? You seem to be flailing more than usual today. I don't want to be accused of abusing a mentally disabled vet.

pepsiholic said...

Oh and Farns... If you go back and read the article, you will see that the bill that McCain voted for was to prevent the military from waterboarding people. The torture bill yesterday had to do with the CIA... who could have terrorist operations underway.

So Farns, say that we causght a single terrorist and we knew that they were planning on blowing up a school full of children some where in the country within the next week. Do you A) Waterboard the bastard that would kill innocent children to find out when and where. B) Read him his rights, get him a lawyer and ask him pretty please where the operation is going to take place and hopes he tells you. C) discover God and pray that it's not at a school where your grandkids are at.

Why do liberals hate our children... the ones they don't abort that is...

Farnsworth68 said...

Anyone who says that the US should be run on the basis of watching a Fox Television show must really hate this country.
Why do you hate America so much?

pepsiholic said...

Was 911 a FOX show?

The Earth Bound Misfit said...

Farnsworth, I see you link to Lurch's blog, Main & Central. Did you hear that he died very recently?

drainbamage said...

PH your question...

"So Farns, say that we causght a single terrorist and we knew that they were planning on blowing up a school full of children some where in the country within the next week."

PH
Maybe you should figure out why you only know he will blow up a school full of children. You know that much and that is it? How do you know the school will blow up if that is all you have? Oh hell lets just torture someone cause we know they will blow up a school, even though we have no idea what state that may be in?

How the fuck do you know the person is a terrorist or will blow up a school? Did you get that out of the illegal wiretap? Either way, you have the terrorist in jail and they can't blow up the school.

Really Farnsworth I think you broke rule #1

Farnsworth68 said...

Yeah, BD, I did break Rule #1, but I've been keeping him around for the entertainment value. Besides, if he spends all his time spinning his web of fantasy (e.g., Clinton's Balkan War was illegal, when it was a NATO action under the approval of the UN, or that Baby Doc's illegal war on and occupation of Iraq was approved by the UN when it wasn't, to take just two examples) here, then he's leaving other people alone. His argumentum ad absurdum forays alone (like the two contained in the series on this post alone) are worth the price of admission. That and watching him run and hide from any questions that he can't answer, instead resorting to name-calling foot-stomping temper tantrums.
Hey, I've worked in logging camps, sawmills and a newsroom, I was in Vietnam, and I raised four kids through their teenage years. You think I don't have a thick skin?
Besides, I really do want to know why he hates America so much.

pepsiholic said...

Drainbamage, easy... just say we caught ourselves a Zacarias Moussaoui type terrorists. FBI agents knew something was going on but with liberals loving terrorists so much, they couldn't even search his laptop.

And besides, if he didn't break rule #1, who would he talk to. It's not like this blog is really that popular.

pepsiholic said...

I thought the NATO authorization in Bosnia was for peacekeeping troops.


...Second, there is the question of whether the United States and its allies should initiate military action without authorization from the United Nations and the full support of the international community. Russia's vehement condemnation of the airstrikes indicates that there will be a diplomatic price to pay for punishing Serbia. Other important goals of U.S. diplomacy - such as reductions in strategic nuclear arsenals - may be dealt a setback. More generally, the ideal of the rule of law by the UN always suffers when the United States goes around the Security Council. http://www.cheatingculture.com/makingthecase.htm

pepsiholic said...

And Farns... I'm still waiting for a reasonable explantaion on why liberals and democrats don't have a problem with our troops getting waterboarded during training. I mean waterboarding in military camps must be going on weekly if not on a daily basis and yet you guys are only interested in protecting terrorists? Why is that?

Farnsworth68 said...

PH, glad to see you're back to being "reasonable" (by your lights, anyway).
So where's the source on your whole "waterboarding our own troops" thing? Assuming for the moment that it's true, let me say this: I went through basic training and AIT, and a "jungle course" before going to Vietnam. We experienced some kind of "mock interrogation" techniques then as well which were certainly not a lot of fun, but at no point did we fear for our lives or think that the "interrogator" was actually going to do us harm. And, IF our troops are undergoing mock interrogations, it's hardly the same thing as an enemy captor doing it.
Nice try, tough.
I may have overstated my case that the Kosovo War was "approved" by the UN. You are correct that NATO -- and the US in particular -- circumvented the UN Security Council because of the threat of certain veto by Russia. Perhaps a better way of expressing it would be with the tacit approval of the UN. Here's Kofi Annan again: "...on the one side, the question of the legitimacy of action taken by a regional organization without a U.N. mandate; on the other, the universally recognized imperative of effectively halting gross and systematic violations of human rights with grave humanitarian consequences. The inability of the international community in the case of Kosovo to reconcile these two equally compelling interests was a tragedy". That's somewhat milder than his flat condemnation of the unilateral US misadventure in Iraq. But because Kosovo was a NATO operation, I don't think the same case can be made for it being illegal. And no one except for the rabid Clinton-haters is trying to make that case.
All that aside, I find it kind of ironic that the people who demand UN approval are exactly the same people who hold the UN in utter contempt. I don't know that about you, but given your evident mindset, it would greatly surprise me if you didn't.

pepsiholic said...

Oh no, I still hold the UN in contempt... We just like pointing out the hypochrisy of liberals. They didn't cal Clinton's attacks on Bosnia illegal when he didn't have UN approval but they will when Bush did have approval to use force.

pepsiholic said...

Here are some articles on waterboarding:

http://www.poynter.org/article_feedback/article_feedback_list.asp?id=133154

I had the technique performed on me during my time in the service as part of my SERE training (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). I, like all Special Forces operatives who deploy overseas, was sent to a training camp where we learned to resist interrogation and survive captivity, god forbid that ever happened to us overseas. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kaj-larson/a-lesson-for-mukasey-why_b_70651.html

Quiz time: What depraved torture loving Rethug said this? :

"We ought to be reasonable about this," he said at a Senate hearing in 2004. "I think there are probably few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake. ... It's easy to sit back in an armchair and say that torture can never be used, but when you are in the foxhole, it is a very different deal. And I respect the fact that the president is in the foxhole every day."



Charles Schumer

Farnsworth68 said...

Nice try, PH, but there you go again.
Nothing you say rebuts the point.
Why do you hate America so much?

Farnsworth68 said...

So no liberals opposed the Kosovo War? How about Noam Chomsky? How about Farnsworth himself? How about a slew of other anti-war activists, which I will allow you to Google yourself.
Moron.
Why do you hate America so much?

pepsiholic said...

Poor Farns, are you all upset that Schumer supported torture??? Do you need a pacifier or a laxative?

Hey Farns, my IQ is waaaay higher than yours. If I'm a moron, what the fuck does that make you, pond slime? Fucking idiot.

drainbamage said...

PH, didn't you hear of the OJ trials? Police do what ever it takes to get the job done... FBI seizes the laptops of many honest Americans every year they wouldn't have a problem with the terrorist in your theory.

Is that why you are that way, you think our law enforcement doesn't already abuse the citizens?

In my home town they beat to death a teenager who was handcuffed behind his back and on the ground. FBI won't search a laptop? You wouldn't even know they did it unless they wanted you to.

Another Vet Regular Reader said...

I'd watch myself, Farnsworth. Sounds like what he really is after is a dick-measuring contest. He wouldn't win it, tho, since in my experience people who feel the need to brag about their big EYE-CUE are compensating for a lack somewhere else.
I think he just wants to look at your dick.

pepsiholic said...

drainbamage said...

"FBI seizes the laptops of many honest Americans every year they wouldn't have a problem with the terrorist in your theory."

As we all know DB, you have no idea what you are talking about:

When Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested last Aug. 16 in a Minneapolis hotel room, federal agents also took custody of the belongings that he left behind, including two knives, a pair of binoculars, a hand-held aviation radio and -- tantalizingly -- a laptop computer and a notebook.

Within days, the record shows, F.B.I. agents in Minneapolis became convinced that Mr. Moussaoui, a 33-year-old Muslim radical, was some sort of terrorist and that he might be planning to use his flight training in Minnesota to take command of a hijacked plane.

Without a court-approved warrant, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was barred from searching the computer for whatever secrets Mr. Moussaoui might have locked inside and from conducting a more thorough search of his other belongings. So the agents turned to bureau headquarters in Washington, seeking permission to go to court for the warrant.

But for nearly three weeks, the Washington supervisors refused, insisting that there was insufficient evidence to tie Mr. Moussaoui to a foreign power, the standard of evidence required for the search. http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C01E3D9143DF934A35755C0A9649C8B63


http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/nation-world/terroristwithin/chapter17.html

pepsiholic said...

Another vet...

"I think he just wants to look at your dick."

Farns, I think another vet wants to be the judge. He seems interested in dick... does he talk about male private parts much?