Skip to main content

Time's Michael Scherer asks: Has McCain flip-flopped on torture? Simple answer to a simple question: Yes.

In 2005 he sponsored the Detainee Treatment Act (DTA) that prohibited military interrogators from inflicting "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" upon prisoners by limiting interrogation techniques to those approved in the US Army Field Manual. However McCain was nearly silent as the grave when George Bush attached a signing-statement to the law that neutered it. Since then, he has not joined others in Congress who are pushing for the DTA to be tightened and expanded. In particular, while campaigning in Ohio on Feb. 10 McCain urged Bush to veto a Democratic bill that would have extended the coverage of the DTA to CIA personnel - who frequently interrogate prisoners held by the military at Guantanamo as well as at secret prisons around the world. Bush did veto the bill on March 8.

So it's abundantly clear that McCain has flip-flopped on torture. For all his preening on the issue, he has backed down shamefully in the face of Bush's intransigence. Last month DemFromCT highlighted McCain's flip-flops on torture:

Maybe McCain's barbecue buddies in the press will pin straight talkin' John down and highlight the doubletalk. My take is that McCain is confident he won't be pressed on it.

Oddly, Michael Scherer manages to reach the opposite conclusion from the truth. When it comes to McCain scandals, Scherer has staked out that territory before.

Referring to the Democratic bill that McCain rejects, Scherer states (my emphasis):

But on this latest piece of legislation, which arose during the heat of the primary campaign and may surface again later this month, McCain sided with Bush in opposing a further restriction of CIA techniques. Despite the claims of some partisans, McCain's decision was not a flip-flop, but rather the continuation of a position he took in 2005 when he first championed a bill to restrict the Bush Administration's ability to mistreat detainees.

"Further restriction..." Interesting phrase; we know of no legal restrictions on CIA interrogation techniques - at least, none that the CIA accepts as binding on it. The Bush administration long ago tossed aside federal anti-torture statute and international treaties banning torture and abuse. Scherer is pretending that the CIA's claim that it is not now using waterboarding, constitutes a "restriction". Even if he's gullible enough to take the CIA's word without proof, the term he's looking for is "pause". It's a pause in waterboarding, since the White House has stated it does not rule out a resumption of that torture technique.

So how in the world can McCain's opposition to the Democratic bill be described as a "continuation of a position he took in 2005" when he introduced the DTA? This is where Scherer's argument jumps several levels on the absurdity scale and enters the rarified realm of sheer perversity:

In the spring of 2005, McCain began the process of formulating legislation to prevent a use of such extreme techniques and some of the sanctioned abuses at Abu Ghraib. Initially, McCain's staff proposed and circulated a bill remarkably similar to the Democratic language McCain now opposes. In a draft proposal, dated May 17, 2005, and obtained by TIME, McCain's staff specifically outlined a plan to make the Army Field Manual "the basis for a uniform standard adhered to by all elements of the United States Government." Another section said that no person under U.S. control could be treated or interrogated with techniques "not authorized by or listed in" the manual. But in the end, after consultation with fellow senators and others, McCain and his staff did not adopt this draft language...

When McCain publicly introduced his bill, which was later called the Detainee Treatment Act, he had narrowed the scope to require the field manual's use only for the military interrogations or interrogations on military property.

Yes, Time has identified damning evidence. McCain's original draft of the DTA tried to extend its applicability to the CIA and all other government officials, but he backed down in the face of opposition and restricted the bill to the military. The Democratic bill vetoed in March by Bush would have instituted the across-the-board restrictions that McCain originally sought. But now McCain doesn't want them.

And Scherer tells us that is not a flip-flop.

Chiz. What would McCain have to do to get the traditional media to acknowledge his hard-earned reputation for flip-flopping? This article is a start, but its candor is remarkable only because of its rarity.

Update: By some technological quirk, the original post was an older draft rather than the final one. I've now posted the version that should have appeared, which differs only by adding a few further phrases and links in the second and last paragraphs.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 09:51 AM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  MCCain (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, CParis, Cartoon Peril, JeffW, apostrophe

    McCain should stop his belly aching about being tortured in Nam for all those years then, I am sure it was legal there, so that according to people like him, that makes it OK.

  •  But this is the thing that is really bugging me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, Cartoon Peril, RickMassimo

    We all know that WE care that Americans have been torturing prisoners, but does the average American (whoever that may be) really care that we've been torturing those "Muslim terrorists?"

    I'm thinking that Joe Sixpack is all for torture if it's "in the name of American security."

    When you aim for the lowest common denominator, you rarely miss your mark... Remember, it's only a few dollars away from eccentric to insane...

    by wry twinger on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:08:18 AM PDT

    •  are americans (3+ / 0-)

      are americans smart enough to realize that just because you label someone something doesnt make it so? Are they smart enough to realize even if you torture 10 people and 8 are in fact enemies wishing you harm, it still laves you torturing 2 innocent people and thus making you Torturers, part of histories truly awful regimes and countries.

      EVERY thug and evil regime had their twisted logic for torturing. Torture was legal during those times, does that make it right?

    •  probably, all those Americans (0+ / 0-)

      who routinely abuse and molest their own children don't care.

      How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

      by hannah on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:26:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  What's the evidence for the view (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wry twinger

      that (the majority of?) average Americans approve of torture? Some say they do, but that doesn't mean they're not defensive about it. Anyway, the response is simple: Jesus was tortured by the then reigning superpower.

      •  I don't have any evidence... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        but my guess would be that if you asked "Do you approve of torture" that a large majority of Americans would say no but if you asked "Do you approve of methods which may be considered torture to extract information from captives believed to be terrorists" that a lot of people would say yes.

        In other words, it's all in the framing of the question.

        When you aim for the lowest common denominator, you rarely miss your mark... Remember, it's only a few dollars away from eccentric to insane...

        by wry twinger on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:54:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  proves the true bankruptcy of NeoConservatism... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, RickMassimo

    Mindless Ideas. gee whiz, what to do?

    Fuck them where they breathe!@

    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. -Mohandas Gandhi

    by ezdidit on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:09:02 AM PDT

  •  John Mc Both-Sides-of-His-Mouth (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KnotIookin, lgmcp, JeffW

    McCain's straight talk comes from a forked tongue.

  •  McCain's actions are not a flip-flop. (0+ / 0-)

    Perhaps a symptom of encroaching senility, but not a flip-flop!

  •  Is There Anything..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    frandor55, RickMassimo

    Is there anything that McBush has not flip/flopped on? McBush..the new Romney!

  •  You know what's awesome? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The way Time gives this much space and this many words to EVERY issue in the presidential campaign, and delves this deeply into the details to rebut allegations against ALL the candidates. And they never, ever resort to cheap shorthand, and they always rool up their sleeves and dive headfirst into three years of documents to get at the truth.

    No matter what the issue is.

    No matter which candidate is being accused.

    It's so awesome.

    RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it's not worth fighting. CHENEY: So?

    by RickMassimo on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:12:12 AM PDT

  •  Apparently McCain is not against torture (5+ / 0-)

    he just wants it done in the shadows by the CIA.

    Two possibilities. McCain is against torture but he is willing to put that conviction aside because he wants to be President that bad. Or, he is not against torture but wants to appear to be.  Either way, he is not a good person.

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:12:23 AM PDT

    •  Or he is against torture but (0+ / 0-)

      he wants to present to the world that America is a bunch of Charles Bronson Deathwish vigilantes. And our youth have readily picked up on this in Florida.

      And let me tell ya, this is the worst-case scenario.

      We're all suspects~

      by plok on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:32:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think enough of a record is out there (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, JeffW

    that we can officially nickname him "DoubleTalk."

    If you want something other than the obvious to happen - you've got to do something other than the obvious...Douglas Adams

    by trillian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:12:41 AM PDT

  •  You should probably update the post (0+ / 0-)

    with contact info for Time.

  •  We've got an uphill battle in front of us (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, frandor55, lgmcp, RickMassimo

    getting the press to fall out of love with McCain. I've spoken to a ton of people about him who think he is way more moderate than he really is.

    •  I always ask (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      smintheus, lgmcp

      what makes them think he's a moderate. What he's proposed that is any different from Bush in any way.

      The reactions I get are a) silence or b) an interesting (in the train-wreck sense) gradual admission that he IS just like Bush and that on closer examination Bush is awesome.

      We do, indeed, have a much harder job in front of us than a lot of us think.

      RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it's not worth fighting. CHENEY: So?

      by RickMassimo on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:18:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Fawning coverage on NPR last night (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, RickMassimo, plok

    likening McCain's campaign to various marvelous success stories and comebacks.  The comparison to Apple Computers was particularly sycophantic and revolting.  As if most Mac users would be caught DEAD voting Republican!!  I don't happen to be one, but still....

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:16:10 AM PDT

  •  Has anyone said it yet? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's OK because he's a republican?

    At least in the minds of the morally bankrupt.

  •  What would McCain have to do (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lgmcp, JeffW, RickMassimo

    to get the traditional media to acknowledge his hard-earned reputation for flip-flopping?

    I am envisioning him stating his old position stage right, then backflipping to stage left to state his new position, then frontflipping back across the stage to say, "see its the same position just spoken from left to right as the needs of my campaign have changed".

    •  There is nothing he can do. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      He is the Republican candidate for president. As such, he is the presumptive president and thus the election must at very least be a tight horse race untl the end. A Democrat is allowed to pull it out, but a known-months-in-advance, Mondale-esque shellacking of the Republican candidate for president simply cannot be.

      RADDATZ: Two-third of Americans say it's not worth fighting. CHENEY: So?

      by RickMassimo on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:21:09 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  what would he have to do....?? (0+ / 0-)

      probably hold another of his now famous Media only BBQ's and then serve TOFU PUPDOGS.  I bet that would turn the msm off to Mr McCain right quick ;)

      "THE SURGE IS WORKING" is the 2008 replacement for "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

      by KnotIookin on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:24:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  and the Russian judge will give him a 9.5 (0+ / 0-)
  •  The biggest, weasliest (6+ / 0-)

    yahoo to come down the political pike in a long time, a bundle of unhealthy dishonest personal ambition wrapped in a halo.


  •  Hey neocons, remember your old pal Trotsky? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just skip the torture, declare everyone you don't like to be counter-revolutionaries or whatever flavor of evil-doer you wish, then because you have a gun and they do not, you can just shoot them, load them up on barges and sink them, or work and/or starve them to death.  

    Client 9 from Outer Space

    by Cartoon Peril on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:17:43 AM PDT

  •  if you (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if you follow neo con thinking, every country has a right to torture, and probably should in order to do everything to keep its interest safe.

    Example. We have soldiers out there fighting, so if they get caught, they actually did and do pose a threat to their enemies, so according to neo con logic its OK to torture the shit out of them to get info.

    Its evil twisted fear mongering logic.

  •  Time did not "uncover" damning evidence. (0+ / 0-)

    I don't have links, but I distinctly remember numerous public reports at the time saying that McCain had acquiesced to limiting his DTA restrictions to the military.

  •  I Would Only Augment the Short-But-Sweet "Yes" (0+ / 0-)

    at the top to "Hell Yes!!"

    "The future ain't what it used to be." George Carlin

    by CityLightsLover on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:19:19 AM PDT

  •  Flipper McCain. (0+ / 0-)

    This theme needs emphasis.  Too many people still like McCain because they think he's a man of principle.

    "...we all of us, grave or light, get our thoughts entangled in metaphors, and act fatally on the strength of them."

    by beagledad on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:22:24 AM PDT

  •  let's make this easy-- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, vtfinest

    If there is no legislation permitting the use of physical force against detainees, other than to keep them from injuring themselves or others, then the use of force to extract information is, ipso facto, unlawful--i.e. not permitted.
    Which is not the same as illegal.  "Illegal" is a term that applies to specific individual behaviors.  The behaviors of agents of government as agents of government is much more limited.  That's what 'limited government' means--the agents of government may and must do only those things that have been authorized by law and laws are drafted by the legislature, not the executive.

    How do you tell a predator from a protector? The predator will eat you sooner rather than later.

    by hannah on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:25:23 AM PDT

  •  McCain's Torture Act (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smintheus, vtfinest

    The Military Commissions Act of 2006 was pushed through Congress by John McCain before the anticipated Democratic win in the November 2006 elections.

    This act removes protections normally afforded detainees in the USA under her own laws and under the Geneva Conventions.

    It allows the president to detain anyone he chooses indefinitely without showing they have committed a crime or should otherwise be detained.

    It authorizes illegal trials that can be used to justify executing or otherwise punishing anyone.

    The Military Commissions Act of 2006 retroactively decriminalizes activities, including torture, made specifically illegal under US domestic law by The US War Crimes Act of 1996.

    It effectively revokes US laws against war crimes.

    All of this is unconstitutional.  

    This time it's personal.

    by apostrophe on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:26:33 AM PDT

  •  Obama is going to have a field day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    with this crotchety, feeble-minded old man and his record.

    McCain has insprired a generation of Florida teenagers to imprison and torture suspected terrorists and post it on Myspace. Mission Accomplished.

    We're all suspects~

    by plok on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:27:10 AM PDT

  •  McCain will say (0+ / 0-)

    anything to get into the White House.

    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from a religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal

    by lyvwyr101 on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:29:58 AM PDT

  •  Document what he says plus a time line and the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mspicata, AllanTBG


    Hire someone who can write well enough to put three facts into a single sentence and thus allow two sentences to be said in less than thirty seconds.

    Repeat.  Just repeat.

    (McCain said we should stay in Iraq for a hundred years.  McCain said a million Americans should lose their homes for being irresponsible.  McCain doesn't know the difference between the two major groups of Islam, let alone what smaller groups hate each other.  McCain thought fundamentalists had too much power in the Republican Party until he needed their votes and money.  McCain doesn't think our veterans deserve a renewed GI Bill.  McCain proposed outlawing torture until he decided it might be o.k....)

    Now the big one:  McCain has no core principals that the American people can trust he'll follow from one day to the next.

    Hunter S. Thompson wrote, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." I want to know who has been getting my checks all these years.

    by algebrateacher on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:33:52 AM PDT

  •  Remember when McCain... (0+ / 0-)

    went on the Daily Show and commended Israel for their stellar human rights record? Jon Stewart gave him a friggin pass on that!

    Alison Weir of  If Americans took them both to task with this Counterpuch article back in Nov. 2005. Check it out. It's more than just flip-flopping!

  •  Scherer hangs his argument (0+ / 0-)

    on this:

    "The field manual, a public document written for military use, is not always directly translatable to use by intelligence officers," McCain explained in February, reiterating his position from 2005. He added that the CIA should be allowed to use "alternative interrogation techniques," that are not otherwise outlawed as unduly coercive, cruel, inhumane or degrading. McCain has not publicly described the techniques that he believes fall into that category.

    Even if we didn't call it a flip flop -- and I agree, it is one -- it's appalling that Scherer lets him avoid responding.  What "alternative interrogation techniques?" Scherer needs to put away his steno pad and ask questions.  

    "Success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives." --George W Bush, May 2, 2007

    by mspicata on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 10:39:44 AM PDT

    •  you're right (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Scherer thinks that's a backdoor for McCain, except it's not because McCain originally wanted the very thing he came out against two years later.

      The way to phrase the question he should be asked is: "Do you support or condemn the use of coercive interrogation techniques?" Torture springs from the belief that coercion is acceptable.

      •  And McCain (0+ / 0-)

        will give a long-winded answer that boils down to "it depends."  Obviously, he's trying to thread the needle between his maverick image and the Republican orthodoxy.  Our candidate can rip this to shreds in a debate -- for that matter, our candidate can do this to virtually every non-position McCain will be forced to take.  One of the reasons I'm not yet concerned about the steno pool.

        "Success is a level of violence where the people feel comfortable about living their daily lives." --George W Bush, May 2, 2007

        by mspicata on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:13:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This is an eye opener.... (0+ / 0-)

    I hope a lot of folks read this. Truth must be the benchmark we use to judge these people.

    I cannot imagine America putting another Republican in the White House for some time.....Maybe after we pay off the debt.... as usual.

    Bad things happen when good people do nothing

    by Marshall Adame on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:06:21 AM PDT

  •  Try it (1+ / 3-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    smintheus, Dagoril, blueness

    When you have been tortured for real like he has you have the right to say anything you want on the subject...  The little things we do that everyone is so up in arms about is not near torture like he went threw.... What we do is the same things we do to our own boys at SERE school (Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape) ....AND no one said it was torture when they went threw it...

    •  People learn different things from torture (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      McCain learned the wrong things.

      This time it's personal.

      by apostrophe on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:16:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course they said SERE is torture (6+ / 0-)

      That's the whole point of forcing troops to undergo those techniques - so that they won't be unprepared if they should be captured and tortured. Chiz.

      Whether or not it is the same type of torture practiced on McCain is irrelevant (and, in fact, several of the techniques are identical).

      You clearly don't understand how these techniques ("little things") work to destabilize the victims' mental state. Have you ever wondered why people subjected to it tend to be reduced to a vegetative or psychotic state? Or are you that ignorant of actual practices and consequences?

      And no, we don't have to take McCain's point of view just because he's been tortured.

      •  reply (0+ / 0-)

        1st no one said to take McCain view ... Just Unless you have been there don't put the man down ... A man that has been tortured does not want anyone to go thew it...

        2nd I understand it a whole lot better than you ... you seem to be IGNORANT of actual practices and consequences

        3rd If we will not do it to terrorists we should not do it to our military boys

    •  the uprater (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      of this comment here, again, as yesterday, is uprating a lie: it is a lie that "no one said it was torture when they went threw [sic] it." They "go through it" precisely because it is considered torture.

      This uprater, an admitted conservative, has in the past several days manifested a pattern of uprating out of HC comments that contain lies, on global warming, on Jimmy Carter, and now on torture. I would advise him to stop it. Those who abuse their ratings privileges on this board tend to lose them.

  •  McCain has FLIP FLOPPED on.... (0+ / 0-)

    E V E R Y T HI N G.

    but SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH  don't tell the MSM because they haven't seemed to notice and we wouldn't want to be the cause of the breakup of such a lovely couple as McCain and his "compromised media"

    "THE SURGE IS WORKING" is the 2008 replacement for "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED"

    by KnotIookin on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:21:02 AM PDT

  •  John McCain hates the troops (0+ / 0-)

    Anybody who favors torturing the other guys is asking flat out for the same thing to be done to our soldiers.

    I can't think of harsh enough words for Mr. McCain.

    We're pro-choice on everything! - Libertarian slogan

    by CA Libertarian on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 11:54:56 AM PDT

  •  Refresher course... (0+ / 0-)

    Obviously, it is time for McCain to take a refresher course at the Hanoi Hilton. It's clear that he has forgotten what torture really is and it's lasting effects.

  •  Flood the comments at Swampland (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nova Land, just some lurker guy

    Scherer has a post  on Time's Swampland referring to the article.  There are 94 comments.  I don't know how many of those are among the 83 here, but I urge everyone who hasn't commented to Scherer's post to do so.  Below is my comment:

    I am astonished at this article. To say that Dean "turned a grain of truth into a misleading landslide of overheated accusation" is the opposite of the situation.

    If you are against torture, you are against it -- whether it's the CIA or the military. And  McCain wanted CIA prohibition in the original bill - so he is not consistent.

    Why are you bending over backwards for McCain?  I just cannot believe this.

    Torture victim McCain is facilitating torture -- by not speaking out against Bush's signing statement on the prior bill and by suppporting the veto of the current bill.

    No wonder people falsely say that they admire McCain's anti-torture position.  You are facilitating that.  You should be ashamed.

    Don't get me started . . .

    by Upper West on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 12:59:27 PM PDT

  •  general election debate question #1 for McCain (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nova Land

    I was watching Cspan2 the day Mccain voted NO to the bill that specifically outlawed waterboarding, for those idiots who cant decide if it is or not.
    I was livid!  Not to promote torture, but his 'feet must be held to the fire' on this one!

    Where people fear the government there is tyrany: "Where the government fears the people, you have liberty." Thomas Jefferson

    by ROADRUNNER DEM on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 01:10:42 PM PDT

  •  Flip-flopping is a (0+ / 0-)

    negative term for changing one's mind.  The difference of change of mind between, say, John Kerry and John McCain would be that Kerry had a logical, moral reason to do so, while McCain is...McBush.

  •  So kiss-ass (0+ / 0-)

    it hurts.

    Scherer actually advances as part of his tenuous defense the suggestion that McCain doesn't like the bill he's supporting, but is 'too tired' of fighting the White House to oppose it.

    Can't say that inspires much confidence.

    McCain expressed no nuance in his opposition to these practices before. When a simple position seamlessly becomes one "complex" enough to contain its opposite, the news media is complicit if it does not object. And a journalist is certainly complicit if he mounts a defense.

    I would extend this equally to Obama's sudden "complex"  view of public financing of elections.

    "Are we still, and if so on what grounds, Galilean and Cartesian?" Alain Badiou, Manifesto for Philosophy

    by Niky Ring on Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 04:25:53 PM PDT

  •  The Atlantic Justifies McCain on torture (0+ / 0-)

    Jonathan Rauch offers another explanation of McCain's position on torture: it is true Burkean Conservatism:

    In the face of resistance from Bush and his own party, McCain fought heroically for a law restraining harsh treatment of terror-war detainees, yet more recently he voted against legislation imposing on the Central Intelligence Agency the same stringent ban on coercive interrogation that the U.S. Army observes. Hypocrisy? Not if you believe that brutal interrogation methods should be illegal, but that holding the CIA to the military’s white-glove constraints, even in emergencies, goes too far the other way.

  •  Pour It Own (0+ / 0-)

    This is going to get dirty for the Bushys and the more we can tie McCain to it the better.  Torture is a crime against humanity.  A crime against God at least if you are a Christian as McCain claims and it causes blowback against our people.  He is simply blind for power and the presidency and will say or do anything to anyone a-la his butt buddy Bush.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site