Carol Platt Liebau: The Problem with McCain

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Problem with McCain

John McCain's interview on Fox News Sunday (transcript here) highlighted one of the reasons he just isn't cutting it in Republican circles:

WALLACE: How would you fight the War on Terror differently than it's being fought now?

J. MCCAIN: I would probably announce the closing of Guantanamo Bay. I would move those detainees to Fort Leavenworth. I would announce we will not torture anyone.

I would announce that climate change is a big issue, because we've got some image problems in the world. . .

WALLACE: Senator, you talked about torture. Former CIA Director Tenet now says that the intelligence that they got from harsh interrogation techniques against some of these big Al Qaida types, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed — the intelligence they got from them using, reportedly, things like water-boarding, extreme temperatures, was more valuable than all the other CIA and FBI programs.

Were you wrong? I mean, this is the CIA, former CIA director, saying this. Were you wrong to limit what CIA interrogators could do?

J. 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...

J. 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: ... when George Tenet says we saved live through some of these techniques...

J. MCCAIN: I don't accept it. . .


The weakness of Barack Obama's response -- when asked how, as President, he'd react to a terrorist attack -- has been duly noted. But, in fairness, here's John McCain seeming to say that one of the ways he'd fight the war on terror is by paying more attention to global warming!

What's more, his answer about the torture of terrorist detainees -- and his ridiculous willingness to move them into prison populations in the heart of the United States -- showed all the sanctimony and condescention that drives Republican voters crazy. "I know what's right. I know what's morally right as far as America's behavior" -- well, it must be wonderful to be that morally superior, mustn't it? What would he tell people whose lives have been spared through the information we obtained from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed? That they just weren't worth it?

5 Comments:

Blogger The Flomblog said...

I have to give Senator McCain a lot of leewy. IMHO, he's earned it. That being said, I do not see him as a President. Unless, that is, the choice is him or Ms. Clinton.

When he speaks of torture, he speaks from experience. Perhaps that alone disqualifies him?

However he has earned our respect and honor.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Bachbone said...

Sen. McCain used to have one strike against him: A lot of conservatives would never vote for him under any circumstances. He now has two strikes: The media who adored him while he was bashing Bush at every turn have started, as conservatives predicted would occur, treating him as a potential threat to any liberal presidential nominee.

Senator, you'd better pull some miracles out of your political hat to avoid a third strike. But even if you walk on water, the same media you once loved will torpedo your political pontoons.

9:06 PM  
Blogger One Salient Oversight said...

Well at least Obama wouldn't be reading "My Pet Goat".

5:47 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

That's cute, OSO. It's telling that you'd agree with all the moonbats who think there's significance there. Do you realize that John Kerry stated that upon hearing the news of 9/11 he and a group of senators sat in stunned silence for 30 minutes? Thirty minutes versus seven minutes for Bush. Hmmm. And Kerry felt he'd be a better prez. I'll bet you do as well. Or do you simply believe that a president should never visit with little school children? I'm so glad you don't vote here.

12:07 AM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

President Bush's immediate resposibility was insuring that the government survived what might have been a major attack. So instead of pulling the alarm button, he calmly dealt with the situation.

His option - Scare a bunch of kids and start a stampede of newsfolk to their phones.

OSO - Please read our constitution. we do not have a parlimentary form of government. We have distinct jobs with distinct responsibilities.

Bear in mind that the US form of government was planned and designed. The Parlimentary form evolved.

5:45 PM  

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