An interesting face-off is occurring within the Republican Party over the definition of torture.
In one corner is Sen. John McCain, a former prisoner of war and a serious expert on torture.
In the other corner is former Vice President Dick Cheney, who’s never been subjected to torture but who supports the use of what’s called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
McCain says the United States shouldn’t use those “EITs” on suspected terrorists because they aren’t in keeping with American values.
Cheney says he’d do all it all over again if given the chance and says the EITs do not constitute torture.
Let’s see. Who’s more credible? I think I’ll go with McCain.
I’ll be clear. I didn’t vote for McCain when he ran for president in 2008. Nor did I vote for the George W. Bush/Cheney ticket in either 2000 or 2004. Politics isn’t part of my leaning.
What informs me here is McCain’s stature as a war hero and a POW who endured torture at the hands of his North Vietnamese captors from 1967 to 1973. The man knows torture. He says without hesitation that waterboarding, rectal feeding, sleep deprivation and stress positions constitute torture.
Cheney’s first-hand knowledge of torture? He doesn’t have any. However, he speaks with an equal lack of hesitation that we gained knowledge from the bad guys by using the EITs.
McCain disputes that assertion, saying that captives will “say anything” to avoid further pain and suffering.
How does McCain know that? Again, he speaks from brutal and intense personal experience.
Yep. I’m siding with McCain on this one.