McCain: Torture Violated the Law and Didn't Make the U.S. Safer

Republicans don't impress me much, but this statement from McCain impressed me:

"I think the interrogations were in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the convention against torture that we ratified under President Reagan," said the Arizona Republican. "I think these interrogations, once publicized, helped al Qaeda recruit. I got that from an al Qaeda operative in a prison camp in Iraq... I think that the ability of us to work with our allies was harmed. And I believe that information, according go the FBI and others, could have been gained through other members."

of course, he then remembered he was a Republican and claimed that the DOJ shouldn't be looking into the incidents of torture that we know about because we should look "forward, not backward."

"I believe the president was right when he said we ought to go forward and not back," he said. "I worry about the morale and effectiveness of the CIA. I worry about this thing getting out of control and us harming our ability to carry out the struggle we are in with radical Islamic extremism."

I think the "looking forward" argument is a dumb one. How are we really going to move on and restore those allies' faith in America if we won't even go so far as to convict the people who committed the torture? Also, the CIA shouldn't be exempt from following the law. If the CIA isn't doing anything to violate the law, then the CIA has nothing to worry about.

Let's say someone killed someone in McCain's family 4 or 5 years ago, and the killer was just now being tried, do you think he'd be saying "we need to look forward not back, let the murderer go?" Or if someone tortured someone in HIS family, how would he like it if the prosecutor decided to "look forward not back." Just look at the campaign, McCain was using footage of when when was being released after being tortured decades ago, I bet if he could go after the people who held and tortured him (or his pals) he wouldn't want us to just "look forward."

There are many times when we can't just "look forward" without acknowledging our past. President Obama's unwillingness to have the investigations take place (mind you, the investigations taking place now won't even really get the people who authorized the torture, only SOME of the people who actually DID it) makes me wonder if his administration is planning on bending the law as much as they can and ignoring it when it gets in their way.

[. . .]on ABC’s This Week, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) pointed out that President Obama has been a bit more reluctant to open an investigation. Holder’s decision to nevertheless move forward is actually a welcome break from the days of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who made all his decisions based on political guidance from the White House:

KERRY: I think there is a little bit of a tension between the White House itself and the lawyers in the Justice Department as they see the law and as what their obligation is. In a sense, that’s good. That’s appropriate, because it shows that we have an attorney general who is not pursuing a political agenda, but who is doing what he believes the law requires him to do. And we have an administration, on the other hand, that is balancing some of those other issues.


I'm glad Eric Holder looked past all of the politicians and is doing what's right, even if it's just a really small drop in the bucket, it's SOMETHING.

Torture doesn't work. No SANE person thinks torture works. Even in the aftermath of 9/11 I wouldn't have approved of torture being done in my name for "national security". The people being tortured don't actually believe you'll stop or let them go if they tell you want they want to know (that's provided that they actually have the information), if anything I'd think the torture would make them dig their heels in and/or just tell the torturer what they want to hear. McCain himself has a story about how he lied to his captors when they wanted information, so he should know.
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