Thursday, May 03, 2007

"I don't care what George Tenet says. I know what's right. I know what's morally right as far as America's behavior."

That's John McCain speaking about "coercive interrogation" or "torture lite." Strangely, this seems to be an issue where if you're a Republican and you're against, you won't get any credit from people now damning the Republican Party for being the party of torture.

Anyway, here's more from a man who has considerable credibility on the issue:

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....

WALLACE: But when George Tenet says...

McCAIN: I don't care what George Tenet says. I know what's right. I know what's morally right as far as America's behavior.

WALLACE: But if I may, sir... when George Tenet says we saved live through some of these techniques...

J. MCCAIN: I don't accept it. I don't accept that fundamental thesis, because it's never worked throughout history. And so again, I know this for a fact, and anyone who's had experience with this, I think, that's — well, the people I respect will tell you that if you inflect enough physical pain on someone, they will tell you anything they think you want to know in order to relieve that pain. That's just a fundamental fact. And we've gotten a huge amount of misinformation as well as other information from these techniques.

Andy McCarthy at the Corner attacks McCain for inconsistency with his position on the "ticking bomb scenario" here. Well on that, too, I find McCain's statements quite reasonable.

Something tells me though, that those who follow the link will still assume that a blog post on the Corner is the established Republican party line while the statement of a Republican presidential candidate on national TV is irrelevant.