Monday, April 27, 2009

This is why McCain lost...

McCain: Cheney Wrong, Don't Declassify Memos

WASHINGTON – Releasing classified memos showing whether harsh Bush-era interrogation methods yielded useful information from terrorism suspects is not necessary, Republican Senator John McCain said on Sunday in a public disagreement with former Vice President Dick Cheney.

After President Barack Obama released four memos this month revealing the Bush administration's legal justification for methods such as waterboarding -- a form of simulated drowning -- Cheney called for declassifying any memos showing that these techniques succeeded in producing valuable information.

"No, I don't think it's necessary, to be honest with you," McCain told the CBS program "Face the Nation."

Many experts say harsh interrogations lead to unreliable information because a person will say anything to stop them.

But the New York Times reported last week that Dennis Blair, Obama's national intelligence director, told colleagues in a private memo that the harsh Bush-era techniques yielded "high-value information" that "provided a deeper understanding" of the al Qaeda organization.

McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, also opposed prosecuting officials who worked on interrogation policy in former President George W. Bush's administration.

"We need a united nation, not a divided one," McCain said.

"Are you going to prosecute people for giving bad legal advice? ... Maybe there's an element of settling old political scores here," added McCain, who was tortured during more than five years as a prisoner during the Vietnam War.


White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett reiterated that Obama is letting Attorney General Eric Holder decide on moving ahead with any prosecutions.

"I think the president has been very clear, and what he said is, 'We need to be a nation of laws, we need to be consistent,' and he leaves it to the attorney general to figure out who should be prosecuted for what," Jarrett told CNN.

Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said a special commission is needed to get to the bottom of the Bush-era interrogation policies.

"It is not from some idea of vengeance in doing this. But we know that there were a number of people that made the decision to violate the law, a number of people who said that we don't have to follow our Constitution, others who wrote memos basically saying the president and the vice president are above the law," Leahy said on the CBS show.

Speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press" program, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama opposes such a commission, saying the Senate intelligence committee's ongoing inquiry is the proper place for such fact finding.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, who heads the intelligence panel, told CNN on Sunday the investigation "will take six to eight months."

McCain cited President Gerald Ford's decision in 1974 to give his predecessor Richard Nixon a full pardon to any crimes to move the nation past the Watergate corruption scandal that prompted Nixon to resign. "Most people in retrospect believe that Ford's pardon was right, because we moved on. We have got to move on," McCain said.

McCain also said the Bush administration officials responsible for authorizing harsh interrogation methods in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks have been "held accountable in the court of public opinion."

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I respect Senator McCain's service to our country, but his moderate tendencies are what lost him the election. From illegal immigration, global warming and so-called torture, Senator McCain was wrong on many issues. If Mr Obama is going to go public with the our past interogation techniques, he should also release the information we gained from those techniques. Mr Obama has made our country's defenses weaker by stopping waterboarding and releasing what was authorized. Our intelligence operative were able to stop an attack in Los Angeles. Now what are they supposed to do with the "non-enemy combatants combatants" talk sternly to them. This is crazy. When our country is hit again, I know exactly who to blame.


Edgar said...

Now what are they supposed to do with the "non-enemy combatants combatants" talk sternly to them.Punishment rarely works in disciplining jihadis. Any form of behavior modification should take into account their ethnocultural values and promote self-esteem. It shouldn't humiliate them.

Waterboarding them like they are children is demeaning and unnecessary. Why not treat them like adults and make it eminently clear that their behaviour is unacceptable?

There also has to be some sort of positive reinforcement. There are plenty of good resorts in Cuba, and I see no reason why they shouldn't get a day pass to Varadero for good behavior once in awhile.

pete dawg said...

I think you're on to something, Edgar. Maybe I'm being too hard these "BAD DUDES" (I think it's Mr Obama's new term). It could be these "BAD DUDES" aren't really mad at us at all. They should be given daily massages and after a session with Dr Phil might help.

highboy said...

I can't believe you actually had a commenter come on here and tell you that we shouldn't treat murdering terrorists like they're children, then in the same paragraph refer to positive reinforcement.

pete dawg said...

Don't be insulted or confused. I really love Edgar. He has a very unique sense of humor and wit. We leave comments on Michael Totten's blog and many of his one liners have had me laughing my ass off. His heart is in the right place. In fact I think he was solier if I'm not mistaken. Glad you dropped in to say "hi" highboy.

Democracy Lover said...

Senator McCain's views on immigration, global warming and torture reflect those of the majority of Americans so they should have helped him win. Unfortunately what the campaign revealed was the McCain was now trying to make people think he was right-wing by advocating things he opposed in 2000, then he demonstrated his poor judgment by selecting a know-nothing as his running mate. If anything sunk his campaign it was his attempt to be a right-winger.

I do agree that we should thoroughly investigate the allegations of torture. This is a matter of law and if we are a nation of laws, then everyone including the President and Vice-President must obey the law or suffer the consequences.

As with any crime, the fact that the intent may have been honorable, or that the crime sometimes was successful have no bearing on the case. If I rob a bank at gunpoint because I need money for my daughter's heart transplant and she receives the transplant successfully before the police catch me, that will have no bearing on my guilt or innocence in court. The judge may consider it at sentencing, but it will not exonerate me. The same is true in the torture case here.