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McCain votes against banning waterboarding
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, February 13, 2008

After pounding the podium on more than one occasion saying waterboarding is torture we have this:
Congress on Wednesday moved to prohibit the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects, despite President Bush's threat to veto any measure that limits the agency's interrogation techniques.

[...]

Republican presidential contender Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, voted against the measure Wednesday.
That means he voted against banning the use of waterboarding.

So much for those famous McCain principles when a good chance to pander to the base presents itself, huh?
 
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"That means he voted against banning the use of waterboarding".

More accurately, he voted against the bill in its entirety. I would assume (big risk) that he was opposed to other mandates contained in the bill. Of course, dementia cannot be ruled out. I’m sure Hilldog and Obama will also grab onto this. Reality be damned.
 
Written By: Is
URL: http://
Well, there is always rendition.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com
Depends on how Hilly and Obie voted (or didn’t), Is...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
I think McCain voted against a torture bill in the past because is was stealthing in some legislation to shut down something else (Iraq War or WoT related). Forget the exact details, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this may be a repeat of that scenario.

Especially when you can get the probably Republican nominee to look like a flipper. So, I wouldn’t be super quick to judgment.

Just to be clear, I think McCain sucks and I’ll probably do a write in and I even disagree with much of how McCain handled the torture situation. I’m just saying this may be not the full story.
 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
No, no, no. McCain has been very very clear that he is against waterboarding and would end the practice if Prez. That is NOT the same thing as making the CIA use the Field Manual.

And I say that as someone who vehemently disagrees with McCain on this issue; I think waterboarding has not been used nearly enough. It’s reasonably humane if done properly and produces actionable intel that saves lives.

Here’s how I judge these things: I ask if it’s something that I could accept having done to me if somehow they had reason to believe I was refusing to tell them something that would save hundreds of lives or more. (Of course, they would be mistaken, and I’d be pissed, but it’s not like being beaten or having fingers chopped off or something).
 
Written By: TallDave
URL: http://deanesmay.com
"More accurately, he voted against the bill in its entirety."

If that’s true: I’m getting tired of people criticizing Congresscritters for "voting against" or "voting for" some small portion of bills. In Congress, a vote is for an entire bill. Maybe someday the President will have line-item vetos; nobody’s even talking about giving Congress the ability to vote for parts of bills.

I would vote against giving puppies to children if it came embedded in a bill to mandate the RFID-chipping of every American. And yet, legions would simply accuse me of being anti-puppy. What a stupid criticism that is.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
Dennis Kucinich voted against the House version of this bill. That doesn’t mean he’s pro-torture for pete’s sake!
 
Written By: shua nedy
URL: http://metaxupolis.blogspot.com
Clinton and Obama didn’t vote on it at all...

There was a lot of other things in that bill, without a direct statement from McCain, or the other Republicans who voted against the bill, it would be hard to say what the reasoning is.

If I had to guess, it is in the first sentence of that article:

"despite President Bush’s threat to veto any measure that limits the agency’s interrogation techniques."

Perhaps the Republicans feel that enough time has been wasted and an overdue appropriations bill (introduced on 5/1/07) ought not to have a poison pill injected into it.

Or perhaps Director Hayden’s warning is what bothers other of them.
Hayden warned Congress that if the CIA were limited to military techniques, it would adhere to them without wavering, even if it meant failing to get urgent and crucial information. He contends the CIA has different interrogation needs than the military and requires more latitude.

"I guarantee you we will live within those confines of any statute of that nature. But you have to understand there would be no exceptions," he said.
And another reason Republicans opposed it:
Section 413 creates a duplicative new inspector general for the Intelligence Community
(IC), even though every element of the IC already falls within the jurisdiction of an
existing statutory inspector general. The existing inspectors general of the departments
with elements in the IC, and the Central Intelligence Agency, are best suited to perform
the necessary investigative, inspection, and audit functions. There is no need to spend
additional taxpayer resources to provide for two inspectors general with competing
jurisdiction over the same intelligence elements.
This provision also would create another Senate-confirmed position in the IC. This is
contrary to the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, which noted that intelligence
officials need to assume their duties and responsibilities as quickly as possible, without
the long delays recent nominees have experienced in the confirmation process.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Another interesting factoid is that the section on torture was added during the conference committee, even though it was in neither of the bills passed by the House or Senate.

I guess the rules don’t apply if it’s for a good cause though.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
I think waterboarding has not been used nearly enough. It’s reasonably humane if done properly and produces actionable intel that saves lives.
Defendant: Asano, Yukio

Docket Date: 53/ May 1 - 28, 1947, Yokohama, Japan

Charge: Violation of the Laws and Customs of War: 1. Did willfully and unlawfully mistreat and torture PWs. 2. Did unlawfully take and convert to his own use Red Cross packages and supplies intended for PWs.

Specifications:beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; water torture; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward

Verdict:
15 years CHL
So sad, we used to consider this a war crime.

CHL - That’s 15 years of hard labor

Reasonably humane... unbelievable, you people can rationalize anything

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Well, point of fact, he wasn’t convicted only for using water torture, there’s a whole list of other crimes there as well.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Another point of fact, what Asano did was not what the CIA did. Asano forced water into the nostrils and mouth of his interogation subjects. Modern waterboarding does not allow water to enter the nose or mouth. Also, Asano did this for over 20 minutes. The longest any of the CIA’s interogation subjects went through waterboarding was about 90 seconds.

There’s a big difference between the two, Cap, and you should have checked the story out more.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
McCain’s objection is that the bill goes beyond just outlawing water boarding, and may prevent the CIA from using techniques that are legal, and unpublicized.

http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases&ContentRecord_id=1863d120-d46b-b3f4-335c-bad46c47b725
The conference report would go beyond any of the recent laws that I just mentioned – laws that were extensively debated and considered – by bringing the CIA under the Army Field Manual, extinguishing thereby the ability of that agency to employ any interrogation technique beyond those publicly listed and formulated for military use. I cannot support such a step because I have not been convinced that the Congress erred by deliberately excluding the CIA. I believe that our energies are better directed at ensuring that all techniques, whether used by the military or the CIA, are in full compliance with our international obligations and in accordance with our deepest values. What we need is not to tie the CIA to the Army Field Manual, but rather to have a good faith interpretation of the statutes that guide what is permissible in the CIA program.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Well, point of fact, he wasn’t convicted only for using water torture, there’s a whole list of other crimes there as well.
as well


Glad you at least recognize that among the other crimes, water torture is a crime as well.

The feeling is identical whether water enters the nostrils or not, so the only difference is whether there is a physical damage, and, to quote the commenter above, "it’s reasonably humane if done properly and produces actionable intel that saves lives".

God forbid we ever get into another war, how the heck are we going argue against torture?

When they pull fingernails out and claim it’s reasonably human and provides actionable intelligence (which by the way, was the PRECISE language used to describe the purpose of the Japanese torture), what are we going to do, say, "Well that’s different"?

People who have gone through this have indicated that they would prefer to have their arms cut off, they could sustain that pain, but the feeling of drowning is, well, torture.

Sick
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
So by what you said, CS, we should cut people’s arms off before we waterboard. Even though, you know, the latter doesn’t do any lasting damage and doesn’t place the person in any danger at all?

Thanks for the policy change recommendation.
 
Written By: Perry Eidelbus
URL: http://eidelblog.blogspot.com
So by what you said, CS, we should cut people’s arms off before we waterboard. Even though, you know, the latter doesn’t do any lasting damage and doesn’t place the person in any danger at all?
Yeah, that’s exactly what I meant, how brilliantly intuitive.
People who have gone through this have indicated that they would prefer to have their arms cut off, they could sustain that pain, but the feeling of drowning is, well, torture.
Obviously it was not meant as a comparison of the abject terror of the waterboarding experience, it was simply a recommendation that we chop people’s arms off, because I’m so pro-torture.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://

 
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