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McCain's achilles heel?

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,646
1,152
126
In a recent thread, PH had a great post outlining a good plan on a cohesive and comprehensive set of rules and administrative organization related to the question of interrogation and torture.

I just watched a 60 minutes clip on Yahoo where John McCain says unequivocally "The United States has tortured", speaking directly about waterboarding. Further, he draws the direct connection with our conviction of Japanese war criminals post WW2 for waterboarding US soldiers.

Then of course, he votes against the bill that would have the Army's field manual apply towards the CIA's handling of things such as waterboarding and 'enhanced' interrogation techniques. The bill passed with a solid majority in support of it, though the Republicans pretty much lined up against it, I think it was 189 against, and 179 of those were (R)'s voting no.

On the bill, it wasn't the end-all solution to begin with, PH had a great suggested course of action. A course that will be impossible to apply with the Bush WH, but that brings us to some questions.

Will this back-and-forth of words and actions hurt McCain as a 'straight-talker'?

If McCain gains the Presidency, what will his actions be on the Torture/Interrogation subject?
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
I thought his point was just that the army field manual shouldn't cover the CIA, and that specifics rules for the CIA should be designed? since, you know, the army and cia are two different organizations.
 

Jebeelzabub

Member
Mar 7, 2008
31
0
66
Originally posted by: Arkaign
In a recent thread, PH had a great post outlining a good plan on a cohesive and comprehensive set of rules and administrative organization related to the question of interrogation and torture.

I just watched a 60 minutes clip on Yahoo where John McCain says unequivocally "The United States has tortured", speaking directly about waterboarding. Further, he draws the direct connection with our conviction of Japanese war criminals post WW2 for waterboarding US soldiers.

Then of course, he votes against the bill that would have the Army's field manual apply towards the CIA's handling of things such as waterboarding and 'enhanced' interrogation techniques. The bill passed with a solid majority in support of it, though the Republicans pretty much lined up against it, I think it was 189 against, and 179 of those were (R)'s voting no.

On the bill, it wasn't the end-all solution to begin with, PH had a great suggested course of action. A course that will be impossible to apply with the Bush WH, but that brings us to some questions.

Will this back-and-forth of words and actions hurt McCain as a 'straight-talker'?

If McCain gains the Presidency, what will his actions be on the Torture/Interrogation subject?
I think McCain's image as a "straight talker" is illustrative of how difficult it is to change a perception once it's become ingrained in the national consciousness, so to speak.

If you take a good look at his record, you can find a whole range of views and opinions that have changed, certainly enough in my opinion to warrant a reexamination of his "straight talker" persona. I may be mistaken, but I think he even changed his religion from Episcopalian to Baptist, I'm certain it was due to doctrinal affinity rather than to appeal to the Republican base. But for whatever reason, a pliant press, an indifferent electorate, he's still viewed as a maverick straight shooter.

I guess that's my long-winded way of saying no, I don't think he'll be viewed as a "flip-flopper" any time soon. I do have hope that if he's elected he'll do the rational thing regarding the torture topic.

Jebeelzabub
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,646
1,152
126
Originally posted by: loki8481
I thought his point was just that the army field manual shouldn't cover the CIA, and that specifics rules for the CIA should be designed? since, you know, the army and cia are two different organizations.
He actually came on and praised the Army field manual rules on interrogation after a visit to Iraq. "The methods are working".

 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: loki8481
I thought his point was just that the army field manual shouldn't cover the CIA, and that specifics rules for the CIA should be designed? since, you know, the army and cia are two different organizations.
He actually came on and praised the Army field manual rules on interrogation after a visit to Iraq. "The methods are working [for the army]".
fixed?
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,646
1,152
126
Originally posted by: loki8481
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: loki8481
I thought his point was just that the army field manual shouldn't cover the CIA, and that specifics rules for the CIA should be designed? since, you know, the army and cia are two different organizations.
He actually came on and praised the Army field manual rules on interrogation after a visit to Iraq. "The methods are working [for the army]".
fixed?
The problem with that, is that it doesn't do jack shit to solve the problem of ambiguity in regards to how we approach the rule of law in terms of torture and interrogation. This exacerbates the problems of an already tarnished international reputation.

We *need* a cohesive and clear standard that is followed by all American agencies on this subject. Otherwise, saying 'we don't torture' is a load of bullshit. Need to waterboard a prisoner in Army custody? Transfer him to the CIA. Need to take it a bit further? Rendition.

It's time to bring this out from the murky grey areas. If our great country is going to be able to shake off the horrible blows to it's image and direction, we need to come clean, clear the books, and get some fundamental ground rules in place, based on solid American values. We have the opportunity to reclaim a lot of moral authority that we've misplaced, it just takes some effort.
 

Fern

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 30, 2003
26,907
173
106
Originally posted by: Arkaign
We *need* a cohesive and clear standard that is followed by all American agencies on this subject.
-snip-
As has been previously noted, waterboarding is prohibited for all agencies. Has been for a few years.

I suspect that the CIA is not so dis-organized that they DON'T already standards. They have standards, rules etc. I don't believe that they'll be published though. The better question may be how are we presently ensuring that they are followed?

I see this bill as mostly political grandstanding because the matter of waterboarding has already been handled. Yet, it is the single most mentioned thing when discussing this bill. Why is that? It's already been prohibited.

Since we're talking about the CIA and methods pertaining to it, this should probrably be a matter for a closed door meeting of the Senate Intelligence Committee etc.

Fern

 

Mxylplyx

Diamond Member
Mar 21, 2007
4,197
100
106
I dont think your average voter cares about waterboarding of CIA prisoners, so this probably wont be an issue. This waterboarding thing is an issue driven by the media and special interest groups.
 

Moonbeam

Elite Member
Nov 24, 1999
67,487
4,160
126
Originally posted by: Mxylplyx
I dont think your average voter cares about waterboarding of CIA prisoners, so this probably wont be an issue. This waterboarding thing is an issue driven by the media and special interest groups.
The issue is driven by swine on the one hand and people with moral values on the other. The swine naturally want to spin the issue.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,521
0
76
Hey Arkaign, thanks for the props in the OP!

As for fixing this mess, as I said in the other thread, this issue may need to be solved at a lower level than Congress.

The ODNI should issue an Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) that acts as a universal interrogation policy across the entire IC. The policy should be one that approaches this issue from an "allowed methods" perspective -- just like the current Army manual -- which leads to less ambiguity, and prevents most issues down the road. The basis of the list should be the methods listed in the Army's 2-22.3. Then, on a caveated and classified basis, some harsher methods should also be included for use by higher level, properly trained, intelligence personnel -- stopping well short of waterboarding, of course. (By "caveated" I mean their use must be clearly defined, and the occasions when they may be used must also be clearly spelled out).

With an approach like this, there is very little wiggle room, if any; and the entire IC would begin to follow one standard. Trying to approach this from the other direction, with a list of prohibited methods, will lead to universal abuse, rather than regulation.

I think you'll find that any other approach to this issue is futile...
 

PingSpike

Lifer
Feb 25, 2004
21,592
449
126
Who came up with the name waterboarding anyway? It sounds like you're going surfing with a cute small surf board...not being repeatedly almost drowned.
 

Pabster

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
16,987
1
0
Originally posted by: Mxylplyx
I dont think your average voter cares about waterboarding of CIA prisoners, so this probably wont be an issue. This waterboarding thing is an issue driven by the media and special interest groups.
QFT. (And that's not necessarily a good thing.)
 

Arkaign

Lifer
Oct 27, 2006
20,646
1,152
126
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Hey Arkaign, thanks for the props in the OP!

As for fixing this mess, as I said in the other thread, this issue may need to be solved at a lower level than Congress.

The ODNI should issue an Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) that acts as a universal interrogation policy across the entire IC. The policy should be one that approaches this issue from an "allowed methods" perspective -- just like the current Army manual -- which leads to less ambiguity, and prevents most issues down the road. The basis of the list should be the methods listed in the Army's 2-22.3. Then, on a caveated and classified basis, some harsher methods should also be included for use by higher level, properly trained, intelligence personnel -- stopping well short of waterboarding, of course. (By "caveated" I mean their use must be clearly defined, and the occasions when they may be used must also be clearly spelled out).

With an approach like this, there is very little wiggle room, if any; and the entire IC would begin to follow one standard. Trying to approach this from the other direction, with a list of prohibited methods, will lead to universal abuse, rather than regulation.

I think you'll find that any other approach to this issue is futile...
Simply outstanding! I'm happy and proud that you're in the service of our country. :thumbsup:

With ideas and level-headed discourse such as this, we're sure to eventually get these problems reined in. All politics aside, I know that as a country, we're better than this. We're better than the bungles and mistakes made under the last few administrations.

Thanks again for your post, input, and perspective.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,521
0
76
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Hey Arkaign, thanks for the props in the OP!

As for fixing this mess, as I said in the other thread, this issue may need to be solved at a lower level than Congress.

The ODNI should issue an Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) that acts as a universal interrogation policy across the entire IC. The policy should be one that approaches this issue from an "allowed methods" perspective -- just like the current Army manual -- which leads to less ambiguity, and prevents most issues down the road. The basis of the list should be the methods listed in the Army's 2-22.3. Then, on a caveated and classified basis, some harsher methods should also be included for use by higher level, properly trained, intelligence personnel -- stopping well short of waterboarding, of course. (By "caveated" I mean their use must be clearly defined, and the occasions when they may be used must also be clearly spelled out).

With an approach like this, there is very little wiggle room, if any; and the entire IC would begin to follow one standard. Trying to approach this from the other direction, with a list of prohibited methods, will lead to universal abuse, rather than regulation.

I think you'll find that any other approach to this issue is futile...
Simply outstanding! I'm happy and proud that you're in the service of our country. :thumbsup:

With ideas and level-headed discourse such as this, we're sure to eventually get these problems reined in. All politics aside, I know that as a country, we're better than this. We're better than the bungles and mistakes made under the last few administrations.

Thanks again for your post, input, and perspective.
Well, I just had Lemon Law tell me in another thread that I am the dumbest soldier in the history of the country, so I guess it all balances out, eh? :D

The worst thing that ever happened with this interrogation issue was politicizing it. The detached morons in Congress will NEVER figure this out... their latest legtislation on the subject, approaching the issue from the entirely wrong direction, proves that much.

So let's just pray we have an ascertive DNI in the next few years...
 

Rainsford

Lifer
Apr 25, 2001
17,515
0
0
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Hey Arkaign, thanks for the props in the OP!

As for fixing this mess, as I said in the other thread, this issue may need to be solved at a lower level than Congress.

The ODNI should issue an Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) that acts as a universal interrogation policy across the entire IC. The policy should be one that approaches this issue from an "allowed methods" perspective -- just like the current Army manual -- which leads to less ambiguity, and prevents most issues down the road. The basis of the list should be the methods listed in the Army's 2-22.3. Then, on a caveated and classified basis, some harsher methods should also be included for use by higher level, properly trained, intelligence personnel -- stopping well short of waterboarding, of course. (By "caveated" I mean their use must be clearly defined, and the occasions when they may be used must also be clearly spelled out).

With an approach like this, there is very little wiggle room, if any; and the entire IC would begin to follow one standard. Trying to approach this from the other direction, with a list of prohibited methods, will lead to universal abuse, rather than regulation.

I think you'll find that any other approach to this issue is futile...
Simply outstanding! I'm happy and proud that you're in the service of our country. :thumbsup:

With ideas and level-headed discourse such as this, we're sure to eventually get these problems reined in. All politics aside, I know that as a country, we're better than this. We're better than the bungles and mistakes made under the last few administrations.

Thanks again for your post, input, and perspective.
Well, I just had Lemon Law tell me in another thread that I am the dumbest soldier in the history of the country, so I guess it all balances out, eh? :D

The worst thing that ever happened with this interrogation issue was politicizing it. The detached morons in Congress will NEVER figure this out... their latest legtislation on the subject, approaching the issue from the entirely wrong direction, proves that much.

So let's just pray we have an ascertive DNI in the next few years...
I don't think this issue is special...politicians can't HELP but politicize every issue that crosses their desks. I'm not sure a DNI, no matter how assertive, can do anything about it either...that post is hardly non-political. Plus interrogation is a PERFECT political issue for both sides, it allows the Democrats to paint the Republicans as a bunch of Nazi fascists, and it allows the Republicans to suggest that the Democrats are weak on terrorism and want to give Osama bin Laden a room at The Four Seasons. I honestly don't think the fact that it's an actual problem that needs actual guidelines has ever entered into their views on the issue.
 

palehorse

Lifer
Dec 21, 2005
11,521
0
76
Originally posted by: Rainsford
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Originally posted by: Arkaign
Originally posted by: palehorse74
Hey Arkaign, thanks for the props in the OP!

As for fixing this mess, as I said in the other thread, this issue may need to be solved at a lower level than Congress.

The ODNI should issue an Intelligence Community Directive (ICD) that acts as a universal interrogation policy across the entire IC. The policy should be one that approaches this issue from an "allowed methods" perspective -- just like the current Army manual -- which leads to less ambiguity, and prevents most issues down the road. The basis of the list should be the methods listed in the Army's 2-22.3. Then, on a caveated and classified basis, some harsher methods should also be included for use by higher level, properly trained, intelligence personnel -- stopping well short of waterboarding, of course. (By "caveated" I mean their use must be clearly defined, and the occasions when they may be used must also be clearly spelled out).

With an approach like this, there is very little wiggle room, if any; and the entire IC would begin to follow one standard. Trying to approach this from the other direction, with a list of prohibited methods, will lead to universal abuse, rather than regulation.

I think you'll find that any other approach to this issue is futile...
Simply outstanding! I'm happy and proud that you're in the service of our country. :thumbsup:

With ideas and level-headed discourse such as this, we're sure to eventually get these problems reined in. All politics aside, I know that as a country, we're better than this. We're better than the bungles and mistakes made under the last few administrations.

Thanks again for your post, input, and perspective.
Well, I just had Lemon Law tell me in another thread that I am the dumbest soldier in the history of the country, so I guess it all balances out, eh? :D

The worst thing that ever happened with this interrogation issue was politicizing it. The detached morons in Congress will NEVER figure this out... their latest legtislation on the subject, approaching the issue from the entirely wrong direction, proves that much.

So let's just pray we have an ascertive DNI in the next few years...
I don't think this issue is special...politicians can't HELP but politicize every issue that crosses their desks. I'm not sure a DNI, no matter how assertive, can do anything about it either...that post is hardly non-political. Plus interrogation is a PERFECT political issue for both sides, it allows the Democrats to paint the Republicans as a bunch of Nazi fascists, and it allows the Republicans to suggest that the Democrats are weak on terrorism and want to give Osama bin Laden a room at The Four Seasons. I honestly don't think the fact that it's an actual problem that needs actual guidelines has ever entered into their views on the issue.
there I go being the eternal optimist again... (Please note that I NEVER claimed my solution was realistic... lol)
 

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