Senator McCain and his supporter Powell’s passive-aggressive war on the president has been ascribed to political ambition. But their attempt to stop the CIA interrogating people who commit and plan the slaughter of Americans is dishonest and disgraceful.
McCain isn’t on the ballot this fall, but the fight with Bush could put in jeopardy the careful balance he has struck in attempting to fuel his own presidential ambitions.
The 70-year-old senator stokes his considerable crossover appeal each time he wages a high-profile struggle with the president.
Their war against the war on terror (my ellipsis):
The Senate Armed Services Committee defied President Bush on Thursday, with four Republicans joining Democrats in approving a plan for the trial and interrogation of terrorism suspects that the White House has rejected as unacceptable.
The Republican rebellion was led by Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, the committee chairman, with backing from Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine.
The White House had said their legislation would leave the United States no option but to shut down a C.I.A. program to interrogate high-level terrorism suspects.
…(Powell) sided with the senators, saying in a letter that the president’s plan to redefine the Geneva Conventions would encourage the world to “doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism,” and “put our own troops at risk.”
As McCain and Powell know, every enemy the US has fought in the last 60 years has tortured and murdered US prisoners.
The Germans and Japanese routinely tortured and murdered allied captives in WW2.
The Chinese and North Koreans tortured, brainwashed and starved US prisoners.
The Vietnamese – as Mc Cain knows – tortured US prisoners.
Hussein’s Iraqis tortured US prisoners, and pulled the fingernails off Brit captives.
And the terrorists McCain and Powell want to protect have killed every US soldier (and most US civilians) they’ve captured – burning them alive, or cutting their heads off. It’s not a secret – the videos and images are widely available on Islamic websites.
So it’s plain dishonest to say that not making nice to captive terrorists “puts our troops at risk”. And stopping the world from “doubting the moral basis of the GWOT” and a dollar might just buy you a cup of coffee.
McCain and Powell just want to poke a stick in the president’s eye and they don’t care how many Americans die as a result.