I have leveled my share of criticism at U.S. Sen. John McCain over the years.
However, when it comes to an issue with which he has intimate knowledge, I defer to the Arizona Republican every time the issue comes up.
The man knows torture. He endured it during his more than five years as a captive of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.
When this heroic American says that waterboarding is “torture” and that the United States need not torture captives taken in battle, well, he needs to be heard.
The president-elect once denigrated McCain’s service during the Vietnam War — which the next president managed to avoid through several deferments. Donald J. Trump once said famously that McCain was a “hero” only because he was “captured. I like people who aren’t captured, OK?”
McCain has made a stern vow: The United States will not waterboard prisoners. “I don’t give a damn what the president of the United States wants to do. We will not waterboard,” McCain told an audience at the annual Halifax International Security Forum. “We will not torture people … It doesn’t work”
I get that McCain lost badly to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign. I did not vote for him. However, I also honor this man’s service during the Vietnam War. He was subjected to unbelievable torture tactics after he was shot down over Hanoi in 1967.
When this war hero says waterboarding doesn’t work, I believe him.
The United States has plenty of “enhanced interrogation” techniques at its disposal to glean intelligence from captives that do not involve torture. Must we resort to tactics used by our enemies? No. We’re far better than that.