Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

On Torture and on Capitol Hill Ethics, McCain Is Senator 'John McHypocrite'

By       (Page 1 of 4 pages)   No comments
Message Dion B. Lawyer-Sanders
While the Mainstream Media Focus on Arizona Senator's Alleged Relationship With a Lobbyist, His Vote Against -- and Call on President Bush to Veto -- an Anti-Waterboarding Bill Is a Dramatic About-Face for a Man Who Says He Abhors Torture

By Skeeter Sanders

Republican presidential candidate John McCain has long prided himself as being a "straight shooter" when talking about himself and his beliefs. The Arizona senator was the darling of independent voters in his 2000 run for the White House by railing against the overbearing influence of lobbyists over members of Congress.

More recently, McCain, who suffered torture as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, angered the Bush administration and conservatives within his own party by being an outspoken opponent of torture against terrorist suspects, eventually forcing the White House in 2005 to accept an amendment McCain wrote to the defense appropriations bill that prohibits inhumane treatment of prisoners, including prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

But McCain's reputation as a opponent of lobbyists' influence took a severe blow last week when The New York Times published a lengthy article on Wednesday that McCain once had a close relationship with a female lobbyist whose clients had business before his Senate committee.

The newspaper reported that aides to McCain's 2000 presidential campaign were so worried about the relationship that they confronted McCain and the lobbyist, Vicki Iseman.

The Times story was published just hours after McCain, in what opponents of torture denounced as a damningly hypocritical about-face, voted against a measure that would bar the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods on terror suspects.

Even more shocking, McCain called on President Bush to veto the bill, which would restrict the CIA to using only the 19 interrogation techniques listed in the Army field manual.

His vote is controversial because the manual prohibits waterboarding, a simulated drowning technique that McCain has long denounced as torture. But incredibly, McCain doesn't want the CIA bound by the manual and its prohibitions.

'My Record Is Clear' on Torture, McCain Says

"I knew I would be criticized for it," McCain told reporters Wednesday in Ohio. "I think I can show my record is clear. I said there should be additional techniques allowed to other agencies of government as long as they were not" torture.

"I was on the record as saying that they could use additional techniques as long as they were not cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment," McCain said. "So the vote was in keeping with my clear record of saying that they could have additional techniques, but those techniques could not violate" international rules against torture.

McCain spokeswoman Jill Hazelbaker noted that McCain believes that waterboarding is already banned by the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which includes an amendment he himself wrote barring inhumane treatment of prisoners. The act prohibited cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment for all detainees in U.S. custody, including CIA prisoners.

CIA Director Michael Hayden has said court decisions and current law, including the Detainee Treatment Act, cast doubt on whether waterboarding would be legal now. Hayden prohibited its use in CIA interrogations in 2006; it has not been used since 2003, he said. Justice Department officials have said they haven't resolved the legality of waterboarding since such legislation was passed.

The legislation bars the CIA from using waterboarding, sensory deprivation or other harsh coercive methods to break a prisoner who refuses to answer questions. Those practices were banned by the military in 2006.

McCain: Veto Preferable to 'Signing Statement' Against Bill a President Signs Into Law

President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation, which cleared the House in December and won Senate approval last week. But one supporter of the bill, Senator Charles Schumer (D-New York), warned Bush last week that if he vetoes the measure, he will, in effect, be "in favor of waterboarding."

Next Page  1  |  2  |  3  |  4

(Note: You can view every article as one long page if you sign up as an Advocate Member, or higher).

Rate It | View Ratings

Dion B. Lawyer-Sanders Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

I'm a native of New York City who's called the Green Mountain state of Vermont home since the summer of 1994. A former freelance journalist, I'm a fiercely independent freethinker who's highly skeptical of authority figures -- especially when (more...)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact EditorContact Editor
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Corsi May Face Libel Suit Over False Claims in Anti-Obama Book

UPDATE: Ron Paul Lied to CNN About Writing Racist Newsletters

New Anti-Obama Smears in Tabloids Owned by Staunch Clintonista

A Holiday Special: The Pagan Roots of Christmas

Finally! Constitution Wins, GOP Fearmongering Loses In Terror War

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend