Sunday, August 24, 2008
Jane Meyer on the position of McCain Of The Many Houses on the torture policyJane Meyer, author of The Dark Side (2008) was in a live chat at FireDogLake Saturday afternoon taking questions about her book. I posed the following question.
Jane, you cite in your book and at least one of your TV interviews I've seen, John McCain's statement nominally opposing the torture policy, "It's not about them, it's about us."
I didn't object to Congress passing the Detainee Treatment Act. But I always regarded it as basically kabuki theater. They were re-outlawing torture that was already outlawed under both American and international law. Everyone by then knew that Bush was claiming the power under the Cheney-Addington-Yoo theory of the Unitary Executive to torture people in disregard of the law. What was the point of simply passing a new law when the problem was clearly known to be Bush's disregard of the anti-torture laws already in force?She responded as follows:
I really did think McCain was opposed to using torture - because having been tortured he knew that as he has admitted "everyone breaks" so he knew the information would be dubious. People say whatever it takes to stop the pain - and he did that himself. I think the issue is fundamental for him. But he certainly has cut some corners on related issues - allowing the CIA to use interrogation methods beyond those approved for the military. No one every got him to say exactly what methods he meant to approve with this. It'’s something reporters really ought to nail him about!And I added the following comment:
Jane, thanks for the additional insight into McCain’s position.She also responded to a question about whether administrative officials feared impeachment over the torture policy. Her response is devastating in its brevity in what it says about the collapse of the First Branch of government, the Congress:
There were numerous reports from inside the administration of top officials fearing being criminally prosecuted. I didn't hear anyone fearful of impeachment. But Gonzales in particular worried out loud about war crimes charges being a potential problem. The CIA was petrified of being prosecuted... [my emphasis]They were more afraid of John Ashcroft's corrupt, hyper-partisan Justice Department than of Congress. In fact, she didn't encounter anyone who seemed to be concerned about Congress intervening at all. What a disgrace!
Tags: dark side, jane meyer, mccain, torture
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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