Sen. John McCain was on Face the Nation Sunday morning, and the contortions he went through to let the previous administration off the hook for their illegal torturing was astounding.
He starts off reiterating that he and his (ahem) friend Lindsey Graham talked to Al-Qaeda operatives who said that U.S. torture was a main recruiting tool they used. He goes on to try claim that it was all just the result of some bad legal advice…despite being sure he took credit for passing a law prohibiting torture. So, it was important for him to get the bill passed, but not important for the Bush regime’s lawyers to read it?
They are still trying to get traction with the canard about it being all about settling political scores, and how we just move on and take care of the two wars we are in. Again, what score does Obama have to settle. He didn’t even serve a full term in the Senate, and he wasn’t running against Bush. And McCain has the gall, after the campaign he ran, to say, “We need a united nation, not a divided one.”
Early in the interview McCain makes the claim that he believes no other Administration will ever make the same mistake (of using bad legal advice…I guess), and torture again. But then he tries to use the Ford pardon of Nixon as a justification to move on. Obviously, not pardoning Nixon allowed the Bush administration to believe, as Nixon said, “if the President does it, it’s not illegal.” This is incredibly twisted logic.
But here’s the real kicker to it all. While McCain is arguing that there should be no retribution against the legal hacks of the Bush/Cheney Regime, he says (after admitting we violated the Geneva Conventions), “and by the way, those who say our enemies won’t abide by the Geneva Conventions…uh they will if they know there’s going to be retribution for their violation.”
So let me be sure I understand this. In McCain/Republican bizzaro land, there can be no one called to account for the disgraceful acts of torture committed by the Bush/Cheney regime, but we can count on every other country in the world to follow the Geneva Conventions…so long as they know, there’s going to be retribution for their violations?”
It’s clear to me that the Democratic leadership in Congress has been as spineless as usual on the torture question, and have made it clear they would prefer it go away. So why has it become such an issue? The Republicans are the ones making the most noise, right up to former V.P. and Director of Torture, Dick Cheney. Porter Goss is even getting into it now.
As usual, the American people are ahead of the government on this, and the polls seemed to indicate the public wanted an investigation. These people know exactly what they did, and now they are running scared…as they should be.
And here’s the big surprise, I’ve wondered all along about the acquiesence of the Democrats in Congress to the abuses by the Bush/Cheney regime. I’d previously speculated that maybe the warrantless wiretaps had allowed the government to develop “files” on the members of Congress. The program was so secret that members of Congress who were briefed on it were not allowed to speak with anyone about it, but suddenly information from the illegal wiretaps is coming out trying to discredit Rep. Jane Harman and now Nancy Pelosi. Funny how that worked.