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The Return of the Real McCain

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Posted on May 12, 2011
Collage from images by Dan Raustadt (CC-BY-SA) and Thomas J. O'Halloran.

Owing to his own experience of brutality at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors as a prisoner of war, McCain possesses a moral authority on the subject that no other American politician can claim.

By Joe Conason

For the longest time, a certain admirable, independent senator from Arizona disappeared from public life, replaced by an irresponsible, opportunistic and occasionally demagogic figure, who seemed to have been warped by his presidential ambitions and his disappointment in losing. But John McCain has now returned, just in time to refute the sinister attempt by his fellow Republicans to justify torture as the instrument of Osama bin Laden’s demise.

During the last administration, even as a supporter of the Iraq invasion and the “war on terror,” McCain broke ranks with his party to protest the worst excesses of the George W. Bush presidency. In one of the most memorable moments of the otherwise desultory Republican primary debates in 2008, he cited the Constitution, the Geneva Conventions and American military tradition to upbraid Mitt Romney for waffling on the issue of waterboarding. “This is what America is all about,” he said indignantly. “This is a defining issue.”

With every right-wing enabler from John Yoo to Marc Thiessen to Liz Cheney suddenly stepping forward to suggest that the death of bin Laden absolves Bush-era criminality, it is refreshing to hear McCain’s clear, strong voice of opposition. The torture advocates have claimed that the waterboarding of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a high-ranking leader in al-Qaida and an alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attack, caused him to reveal the identity of a courier whose trail led, almost seven years later, to the hideout in Abbotabad, Pakistan.

McCain is having none of this nonsense, as he explains in a blistering essay published in The Washington Post:

“The trail to bin Laden did not begin with a disclosure from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was waterboarded 183 times. The first mention of Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti—the nickname of the al-Qaida courier who ultimately led us to bin Laden—as well as a description of him as an important member of al-Qaida, came from a detainee held in another country, who we believe was not tortured. None of the three detainees who were waterboarded provided Abu Ahmed’s real name, his whereabouts or an accurate description of his role in al-Qaida. In fact, the use of ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed produced false and misleading information.”

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Owing to his own experience of brutality at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors as a prisoner of war, McCain possesses a moral authority on the subject that no other American politician can claim. He also understands—from the perspective of someone who was once subjected to “enhanced interrogation”—why extreme pain and fear tend to produce unreliable information:

“I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners ... often produces bad intelligence because under torture a person will say anything he thinks his captors want to hear—true or false—if he believes it will relieve his suffering. Often, information provided to stop the torture is deliberately misleading.”

Why is this still important? McCain doesn’t believe that those who ordered and implemented the crimes of the past should be punished, although not everyone in this country or elsewhere agrees. But he is certainly correct when he says that any endorsement of torture endangers American soldiers who may someday be captured in conflict abroad. And he is yet more astute in noting that amid the Arab democratic awakening—which we hope will repudiate everything represented by al-Qaida and its unlamented leader—our country must “stand as an example of a nation that holds an individual’s human rights as superior to the will of the majority or the wishes of government.”

Boasting that torture vanquished our worst enemy is wrong, stupid and unbecoming to a democracy that lost so much moral authority by violating the principles of our founders during the past decade. As McCain might say, that was a mistake we cannot afford to repeat.

© 2011 Creators.com


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By Marshall, May 22, 2011 at 5:29 pm Link to this comment

By drbhelthi, May 19 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

Have indeed heard of paperclip though i’m not sure how that’s relevant.  But i’d
like to understand (I think) your logic about Cheney whom you apparently believe
is still running the show, pulling Obama’s strings?  Lot’s of people are consulted
for input - that doesn’t mean they’re making secret decisions.  In any case, with
regard to the original subject of enhanced interrogation techniques: I agree that
torture results in the prisoner telling the interrogator what he wants to hear.  What
he wants to hear is simply the truth, and that’s what he gets.  However
waterboarding isn’t torture as it results in no permanent impairment (unlike
solitary confinement which often does).  Nonetheless, it does produce results
which can be verified, as I explained in my earlier post and which the AG report corroborates.

Report this

By ardee, May 20, 2011 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

I can certainly cite mine:  KSM was not cooperative until he was waterboarded.  The AG report makes this clear and he provided actionable intelligence as a result.

Actually,Marshall, Intelligence officers have publicly stated that KSM revealed only misleading intel under waterboarding but that, after undergoing more conventional procedures not involving torture, stress positions and the like, he bagan to give up important info.

Overwhelmingly, experienced intelligence people have stated that torture gives only lies and fails to be as efficient a method of intel gathering as the more conventional methods. Overwhelmingly except of course for you.

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By drbhelthi, May 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm Link to this comment

“Last i checked they weren’t in office, but i realize understand
there are still japanese living on remote islands that think
WWII is still on.”  Marshall

That concept was still accurate in 1970, which reveals how far
behind the times you and your ideation are - - .  You probably have never heard of “Operation Paper Clip,” and are not aware that some of Cheney´s policies are still active and he is occasionally polled for input into US policy decisions.  “Last I checked they weren´t in office,- - “.  Reflects the extent of your comprehension of current US politics.

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By Marshall, May 19, 2011 at 1:05 am Link to this comment

By drbhelthi, May 17 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

“Political expediency is repeating which the puppeteers support, in this case the
Rumsfelds/Cheneys and other NAZI-types”

Last i checked they weren’t in office, but i realize understand there are still
japanese living on remote islands that think WWII is still on.

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By morongobill, May 18, 2011 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Putting all the moral issues aside, etc and looking at this from the standpoint of tactics, his entry into this torture debate at this time, in my opinion, will take the wind out of the sails of the pro-torture crowd over in the elephant caucus, and gives political cover to the elders of both parties to bring this discussion to an end and move on.

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By drbhelthi, May 17, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

Hanging in the balance is the last phase of “the plan.”

Initiation of the plan is traced to the NAZIs in the U.S. and the NAZIs
in Germany at the end of WWII.  They pulled off “Operation Paper Clip,”
1945, with reiterations until 1952. Essentially, NAZI Headquarters were
transferred from Berlin to Wash.D.C., Huntsville, AL, and Ft. Bliss, TX. 
NAZI SS General Gehlin reorganized the OSS functions into the C.I.A. 
George H.W. Bush Sr. was the secretive C.E.O. of the C.I.A. from about
the late 1950s until about 1990.  He made the decisions to conduct the
5,000 or so illegal coups in 3rd-world countries around the world.  The
“Chronicles of Chip Tatum” and the videos of John Stockwell reveal
insider information about the “terribly nice man,” that startles some
folk.

Instead of Jewish folk in NAZI extermination stalags in Germany, this
time it is American Patriots in certain NAZI-FEMA installations in the
United States of America.

Thank you for your accurate insight and courage, prisnersdilema.

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By prisnersdilema, May 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm Link to this comment

Then there is McCains senate bill S-3081 that would allow president Obama to detain
an unlimited number of American citizens, and foreign nationals, without trial, and
without charges, indefinitely just by President Obama declaring them enemy belligerents.

Do you feel comfortable with that? Or do you see tyranny on it’s way?

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By drbhelthi, May 17, 2011 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

“Except that this opinion isn’t based on evidence or even common sense - - -
Any officials who espouse that are simply being politically expedient.” Marshall

Excuse me ?
Political expediency is repeating which the puppeteers support, in this case the Rumsfelds/Cheneys and other NAZI-types, that all the worthless torture techniques are very useful, not that they are valueless.

Did you board the wrong bus at the last bus stop, or mix your marbles, perhaps ?

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By Marshall, May 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm Link to this comment

By gerard, May 15 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

“Almost all your comment contains statements that bonafide experimentation has
proven wrong”

Could you possibly supply some of the evidence you cite?  I can certainly cite
mine:  KSM was not cooperative until he was waterboarded.  The AG report makes
this clear and he provided actionable intelligence as a result.

Your evidence please?

Report this

By TDoff, May 16, 2011 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

What the hell kind of a post is this?!

If we’ve learned one thing, after watching him through the years, there is no ‘Real’ McCain.

Report this

By Ron Paul supporter, May 16, 2011 at 2:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I find it difficult to believe a progressive magazine like yours would talk about McCain and his republican competitors without mentioning Dr Ron Paul.

In contrast to Mc Cain, Ron Paul has an impressive track record for consistency, honesty, and taking the US constitution serious. Clearly Mr Paul is feared my many - even MR Conason - because he would really bring change to the criminal US government and its corporate guide dogs.

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By gerard, May 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm Link to this comment

Marshall, obviously you know little to nothing about psychology—and probably don’t want to know more.
Almost all your comment contains statements that bonafide experimentation has proven wrong, leaving you and others like you trying to defend the indefensible—that is, cruelty, pain, humiliation, agony, loss of sanity and slow death.

Report this

By Rafael Baber, May 15, 2011 at 2:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The McCain of that essay is not the Real McCain. We saw the Real McCain during the last presidential run, a venal creature with no backbone when the stakes are high, still a womanizer at heart if not in body (e.g., his selection of Palin).

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By Marshall, May 15, 2011 at 1:20 pm Link to this comment

By drbhelthi, May 14 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

“Experts in the field, including former C.I.A. officials, have consistently reported
that these techniques produce what the victims think the interrogators want to
hear, essentially unreliable information.”

Except that this opinion isn’t based on evidence or even common sense - it’s
based on a utopian ideal that wants morality and reality to be in alignment
despite evidence to the contrary.  Any officials who espouse that are simply
being politically expedient.

In reality, it’s pretty easy for interrogators to confirm the quality of intelligence
extracted from a subject by simply interspersing questions whose answers they
already know.  Nor does it make any sense from a practical, human nature point
of view that a human being would makes up BS to end an interrogation rather
than tell the truth to end it - or even that they’d know what the interrogator
“wants to hear”.  That kind of belief is based on a simplistic view of how
interrogation works - the kind that most people who oppose enhanced
interrogation harbor because it lines up nicely with their moralistic argument
agains’t these techniques.

The ONLY argument against enhanced techniques is the moral argument,
because they are most certainly effective.

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By Michael Green, May 15, 2011 at 8:50 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What a perfect example of how McCain has suckered the media.  From crashing so many planes as a young pilot to dumping his wife, from corruption to just hating whoever happens to be in the White House, McCain has abandoned principle whenever it suits his purposes—meaning, all the time.  But the media want a “principled politician” and, since they have tired of the one in the White House, they are now wandering back to this alleged man who foisted Sarah Palin on the public.  Conason should be ashamed of himself for falling for this.

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By drbhelthi, May 15, 2011 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

“McCain is just another version of George Bush, the worst president
this country has ever had.”    Magginkat, May 14 at 9:57 am

My perception is that he is one finger on the political, dominant
hand of the family Bush.  Thus his belief, “McCain doesn’t believe
that those who ordered and implemented the crimes of the past should
be punished - -“.  Which covers the approximately forty years of
criminal activity while GHWBushSr was secretive “CEO” of the C.I.A.,
involvement in drug-smuggling prior-to, during, and after his
“presidency,” (see The Chronicles of Chip Tatum and videos of John
Stockwell, former CIA station manager) the drug-related activities of
George W. Bush in Brownsville, Texas, during the 1980s, and his 8
years of invoking NAZIism onto Americans and the U.S.A., while
establishing the circumnavigation of the U.S. Constitution via
“executive directive,” illegally. 

If elected, McCain would predictably pass a law – illegal or not -
to carry out his desire to protect the Bush family members from
prosecution.  Similar to the laws passed by the Bushites protecting
the pharma industry from responsibility for the poisons shot into
human bodies via alleged “inoculations.” Which, scientific evidence
proves do not inoculate, and to be as evil as the Bush family itself. 

Other factors you mention denote a personality in McCain that is
hardened, and which would continue the same evil established by
GHWBushSr about fifty years ago, intensified by his number one son,
2000-2008, which was accelerated when the personage using the name,
“Barack Hussein Obama,” was placed into the Office of the President
of the United States of America.  Which, the lower socio-economic
folk who allegedly elected him, now grievously regret.

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By John, May 14, 2011 at 6:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Marshall likes to use the word moral but has no problem with the use of torture. I also tells us it is effective without providing any evidence. I especially get a kick out of his comment: “I believe water-boarding is morally acceptable.’

Marshall must be a good traditionalist Christian. Christians have been torturing unbelievers and heretics with waterboarding for hundreds of years. It is not surprise then, that it would be good Christian G.W. Bush’s favorite form of torture.

The execrable Christopher Hitchens felt about waterboarding as you do Marshall. He allowed himself to be waterboarded to show us silly lefties that it was no big dealat all. just a little Fraternity hazing dunking in water. Check this video out to see how long the brave Hitchens lasted in his dunking before agreeing “to talk.” recall that the CIA, under Bush’s orders, waterboarded that one Al Qaeda prisoner 180 some odd times.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LPubUCJv58

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By katsteevns, May 14, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

Good for you, McCain, standing for what is right!!!! I have half a mind to vote for you after you change your party affiliation and run as vice president under Nader…..but don’t hold your breath.

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By drbhelthi, May 14, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

“McCain doesn’t believe that those who ordered and implemented the
crimes of the past should be punished - - - ” 

This idea seems to refute the rule of law, which seems weird, coming
from McCain, with his war experiences.  Especially, when a former
Russian soldier, captured by the WWII NAZI about 1942, was recently
convicted on the charge of, “accessory to murder,  on accusations he
agreed to serve as a guard at the Sobibor camp after being captured by
the Nazis.”  Now 91 yrs old, John Demyanjuk was adjudicated this week in
the Bavarian State Court in Munich, to five years in prison. 
http://ca.news.yahoo.com/nazi-convict-living-freedom-germany-escapes-
extradition-netherlands-090614600.html

Did Simon Wiesenthal´s clan wait so long to remove retired Ohio
autoworker John Demyanjuk from his family and fifty years of life in the
U.S.A., subjecting him to trial in Munich, at this late date in his
life, as a means of additional torture? 
http://cleveland.indymedia.org/news/2009/04/37620.php

What justice is served by convicting a slowly dying, old man in a
wheelchair, about 68 years after-the-fact, rather than having gone after
the NAZI leadership, who ordered the deaths of the victims?  Was this a
questionably-motivated adjudication by German authority?  Obviously,
certain officials of the Bavarian State Court in Munich, and the Simon
Wiesenthal clan who provided the evidence, disagree with John McCain´s
idea. What about super-rich American leaders who are responsible for the
deaths of millions in the Far East and Mid East, since WWII?  Will the
Simon Wiesenthal clan present evidence against them?

Report this

By David S, May 14, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is not the return of the “real” John McCain. This is the same old political
opportunist/vampire trying to lure the huge voting block on the Left for support
in a possible re-run in the 2012 election - or at least get their moral support for
the problem of his deeply tarnished self-image.  John McCain, remember, is a
fervent supporter of vicious anti-immigration rhetoric and the teaching of
creationism in US classrooms. How many times do you have to be betrayed before
you form the permanent conclusion of “rotten to the core” in relationship to
people like Lieberman, McCain and so many others, including Obama? Haven’t all
of you recognized this remade, more right-wing “Clinton” in the White House (yet)?
Keeping hoping and believing while eating those delicious GE crops served right up from the “democratic” White House!

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By drbhelthi, May 14, 2011 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

“The left chooses to call these techniques torture, but many including
myself believe are simply harsher, more effective interrogation
techniques.”  Marshall

Rebuking such techniques is not limited to “the left.”  Experts in the
field, including former C.I.A. officials, have consistently reported
that these techniques produce what the victims think the interrogators
want to hear, essentially unreliable information.  Only prejudiced
politicians, their shills and a few ill-informed types report what you
presented.

Report this

By Lulu, May 14, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can’t believe this garbage on McCain. Did the Alzeimer drugs finally kicked in, back to his ‘maverick’ self. You can’t bring yourself to talk about the only statesman democrat or republican on the hill…Ron Paul

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By felicity, May 14, 2011 at 9:58 am Link to this comment

Credentials/resume, Marshall? - since every counter-
intelligence agent (they’re the people educated and
trained to interrogate captives) states categorically
exactly what McCain has recently said on the enhanced
interrogation issue.

We can’t accept your professed expertise in the field
of counter intelligence because you either can’t or
won’t back it up with ‘credentials.’

Perhaps you want to align yourself with the other
chicken-shits, mama’s boys, draft-dodgers - Cheney,
Rove, Limbaugh etal - all of whom also suffer from
advanced cases of hoof-and-mouth disease?

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By Magginkat, May 14, 2011 at 9:57 am Link to this comment

When I heard about this commentary my first thought was, “is that old goat going to try to run against Obama again?”  I still wonder what he is up to.

McCain is just another version of George Bush, the worst president this country has ever had.  He’s a play boy (probably right up to the present), a liar, two-faced, greedy, and all the rest of the adjectives that have been applied to Bush (jr).  I have never liked him, never trusted him and this time is no exception.

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By PatrickHenry, May 14, 2011 at 8:24 am Link to this comment

Torture is probably the only issue feel I can agree with McCain on.

Waterboarding is in the same catagory of electric shock, nail pulling and the rubber hose.

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By m@earth, May 14, 2011 at 5:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If McCain would trouble himself to say the people who had approved of the
exquisite form of torture need to be brought to trial.  He then might have said
something truly important to the American people and it would be a moment
worth remembering.  Except for, he didn’t.  His duty bound him.  And while he
might have the military in him and the knowledge of having seved and been
tortured.  He still knows who his commander is and won’t go against that.

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., May 13, 2011 at 10:47 pm Link to this comment

Marshall, May 13 at 9:25 pm
============================
Well, thank the gods the weight of the world disagrees
with you and they are backed up by the Geneva
Convention of 1949. Nuff said.
But then, you’re a troll who has been haunting these
pages for years, bye.

Report this

By Marshall, May 13, 2011 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

McCain is wrong and I imagine his personal experience is the impetus behind
his break with the pack on this topic.  The left chooses to call these techniques
torture, but many including myself believe are simply harsher, more effective interrogation techniques.  I suppose putting someone in solitary confinement
could be construed “torture”, yet it’s a perfectly acceptable form of punishment
in our civil criminal system. 

And as much as some would like to equate harshness with ineffectiveness, the
fact is that these techniques are effective, they are verifiable, and they quite
likely revealed information that’s been instrumental in our efforts against
terrorism.  I imagine that detractors of enhanced techniques wouldn’t question
the effectiveness of actual torture in the hands of the enemy - that’s why
enemies use torture; because it works.  While I don’t consider water-boarding
torture, it’s definitely coercive and by the same token also works.

The only argument against these techniques is the moral argument and I accept
that this is a point of view.  I believe water-boarding is morally acceptable.
Others don’t and are fully entitled to their opinion.  But I disagree with McCain.

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By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., May 13, 2011 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

gerard, May 13 at 2:28 pm
If McCain had troubled himself to speak out against
the 10-month solitary confinement and humiliation of
Private Bradley Manning, imprisoned by the Army even
before he was legally charged—I would have felt more
reason to rejoice.  As it is, two cheers
for McCain, with the third one waiting to see how
much common sense he shows in regard to
freedom on information when it comes to further
allegations against Manning and Assange.
======================================
Nice comment as usual; and I agree. There’s a lot
more he could do, but likely won’t. Cheers.

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By Samson, May 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

From the headline, I was expecting to see details about
how he’s once again taking lots of money from crooked
S&L operators.

Hasn’t everyone figured out by now that if a Democrat
or Republican is running for President, then they are
lying their rears off the whole time.  ITS ALL IMAGE. 
They don’t care about anything else. 

You can’t believe a word they say, because its all a
lie to create an image to get elected.

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By markpkessinger, May 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm Link to this comment

@Rosemary Molloy

Far be it from me to defend MCCain—for the most part, I can’t stand him.  But you misquoted the article.  Nowhere does it say, as you suggest, that McCain “possesses a moral superiority” concerning torture.  The quote was that, owing to his own five-year imprisonment and torture, he “possesses a moral authority on the subject that no other politician has.”  His voice can (and should) carry greater moral authority because of his unique perspective concerning this issue, in much the way a woman’s voice can (and should) carry greater moral authority than John McCain’s (or any man’s) on something like a woman’s right to choose.  It is not moral superiority we’re talking about here; it is moral authority rooted in authenticity of the sort which can only be gained through direct experience.

Having said that, let me add that I think it’s a bit premature to say McCain has “returned to his senses.”  This one issue is perhaps the only one about which McCain has been consistently principled.  On most other issues, I think the only principle John McCain has ever followed is the principle of what, at a given moment, suits John McCain’s interests.

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By gerard, May 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

If McCain had troubled himself to speak out against the 10-month solitary confinement and humiliation of Private Bradley Manning, imprisoned by the Army even
before he was legally charged—I would have felt more reason to rejoice.  As it is, two cheers
for McCain, with the third one waiting to see how much common sense he shows in regard to
freedom on information when it comes to further allegations against Manning and Assange. Will he turn out to be more interested in imprisoning whistle-blowers than he is in freedom of information?
Time will tell.

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By TDoff, May 13, 2011 at 12:52 pm Link to this comment

This apparent return to making sense by John McCain may not be by choice. At his advanced age, dementia is setting in, and he may be unwittingly returning to his childhood, when things were simple and pure. When he dreamed that someday someone would invent airplanes, so he could learn to crash them. When many politicians were leaders, instead of craven crooks and fraudsters.
When some bankers were not bank robbers. When owning or operating a business was usually a sign of success, instead of a sure sign of amorality and avarice. When spoken and written words were intended to convey a meaning based on truth, rather than solely to create an effect to most benefit the speaker/writer, irrespective of reality.
When most Americans could base friendships with their peers on many things they had in common, other than ‘Boy, those bastards sure have effed-up this country, haven’t they, and they’re sticking it to us right up the whahzoo, aren’t they?’
So that the child-like McCain is against torture, does not surprise. That premise is so simple and true it is childlike. Any one with two or more neurons to rub together agrees that torture is a no-no. Only lawyers and other lost souls could argue otherwise.
Unfortunately, the US is currently cursed with a plethora of the lost in positions of power. And cursed by us for permitting that.

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By Big B, May 13, 2011 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

To this day, my wife still blames McCain for being the single biggest reason that we had to endure 8 years of GW. Just think, if he would have had a single hair on his testacles and raised hell in 2000 when W’s dirty tricks squad queered his run for the presidency just before super tuesday. He could have dragged George through the mud and not only cut the head of the Bush beast off, but he also could have been sitting pretty in the white house for looking like the “maverick” persona that he cultivated for years.

He took a shot in the face from GW, and instead of being a man, he crawled from the race in disgrace. That is why my wife said he would have made a lousy president, if he wouldn’t stand up for himself, how could we trust him to stand up for the USA?

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By SarcastiCanuck, May 13, 2011 at 7:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sorry Mr.McCain,I used to love the old Maverick with the big cahones,but he sold out to try and become president.You flushed your integrity and respectability down the toilet and it ain’t coming back.You are now a tragic figure and the credability you earned over so many years was destroyed for good in a short period of time.You are now a has been….Too bad,you used to represent everything that was right about America and you broke my heart.

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By Jim Yell, May 13, 2011 at 6:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

John McCain has been so erratic that it isn’t really possible to give him a pass just because he spoke truth about torture. We must remember that he doesn’t want the crimes punished, which practically guarantees that they will be repeated over and over again. In fact Obama has forgotten his declarations of the past and has used his Presidency to validate the very illegal and distructive excesses of George W. Bush. Until the crime is punished there will be nothing to stop the strong and powerful from using it and next time it will be against the American People.

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By Rosemary Molloy, May 13, 2011 at 5:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The idea that McCain “possesses a morel superiority” about torture because he endured it himself, is ridiculous. The rightness or wrongness of an action doesn’t rest on whether people discussing it have “experienced” the thing themselves.  Whether it “works” or not has no bearing on the subject, either.

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By ardee, May 13, 2011 at 4:32 am Link to this comment

McCain is a perfect example of how political opportunism trumps morality and commno sense.

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., May 13, 2011 at 3:27 am Link to this comment

McCain; what a conundrum. I was indeed surprised/happy
to hear his direct, no B.S. statement against torture.
He could’ve been so much more, pity.

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