“The major thing is, do we want to resort to doing things that our enemies do? Do we want to be on the same plane as those people chopping off heads?
The point is even if we had gotten useful information, the propaganda and image and the behavior of the greatest nation on Earth by torturing people is not what we want and it helps the enemy.”
— Senator John McCain on Fox News
I can probably count the number of times I have agreed with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) on one hand. However, that doesn’t mean he’s always wrong (just usually). In fact, I will likely be supporting one of his competitors in his upcoming primary for the Senate in Arizona. McCain is no conservative (as his Liberty Score of 36% proves), but when it comes to torture… he is 100% correct.
McCain has the experience (philosophically and literally) to speak to the uselessness of torture as anything other than a method of exacting revenge. The Senator spent years at “the Hanoi Hilton” being tortured by the Vietcong after he was captured by the enemy during the Vietnam Conflict. He was water boarded and worse – and I believe this gives him the right to speak authoritatively on the subject of torture.
On Monday he spoke out against Donald Trump and any other GOP candidate who would consider using torture against our enemies – even terrorists.
Given the loose talk on the campaign trail about reviving waterboarding and other inhumane interrogation techniques, it is important to remember the facts: that these forms of torture not only failed their purpose to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies, but compromised our values, stained our national honor, and did little practical good.
It is also important to remember that our nation has tried, convicted, and executed foreign combatants who employed methods of torture, including waterboarding, against American prisoners of war. As I have said before, our nation should never have employed such practices in the past, and we should never permit them in the future.
“There is broad, bipartisan agreement on this fundamental question. Last year, the United States Senate passed in an overwhelming vote of 91-3 the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016, legislation that took a historic step forward to ban torture once and for all by limiting U.S. Government interrogation techniques to those in the Army Field Manual.
The Manual embodies the values Americans have embraced for generations – preserving the ability of our interrogators to extract critical intelligence from our adversaries while recognizing that torture and cruel treatment are ineffective interrogation methods. Some of the nation’s most respected leaders from the U.S. military, CIA, FBI, as well as faith communities and human rights organizations, have expressed their support for this legislation.
“As Americans of conscience we must remember that in the war on terrorism, we are fighting not only to defend our security, but for an idea that all men are endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights. How much safer the world would be if all nations believed the same
. How much more dangerous it can become when we forget it ourselves even momentarily, as we learned in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib.
Our nation needs a Commander-in-Chief who will make clear to those that fight on our behalf that they are defending this sacred ideal, and that sacrificing our respect for human dignity will make it harder, not easier, to prevail in this war.”
McCain made himself even clearer when he appeared on Outnumbered on the Fox News network to reinforce his thoughts on the issue.
He also gave a speech on the issue on the Senate floor this week.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by EagleRising.com