Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: McCain Votes For Torture

14 February 2008

McCain Votes For Torture


From the New York Times:

The Senate voted 51 to 45 on Wednesday afternoon to ban waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods used by the Central Intelligence Agency against high-level terrorism suspects. The prohibition of harsh interrogation techniques is part of a wider intelligence authorization bill and would restrict all American interrogators to techniques allowed in the Army Field Manual, which bars the use of physical force. All the “no” votes were cast by Republicans, except for those of Senators Joseph I. Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut, and Ben Nelson, Democrat of Nebraska.

Mr. McCain, a former prisoner of war, has consistently voiced opposition to waterboarding and other methods that critics say is a form torture. Mr. McCain voted “no” on Wednesday afternoon.

And if you don't think that waterboarding is torture, you should have a look at this description. Here's a taste:

The water fills the hole in the saran wrap so that there is either water or vaccum in your mouth. The water pours into your sinuses and throat. You struggle to expel water periodically by building enough pressure in your lungs. With the saran wrap though each time I expelled water, I was able to draw in less air. Finally the lungs can no longer expel water and you begin to draw it up into your respiratory tract.

It seems that there is a point that is hardwired in us. When we draw water into our respiratory tract to this point we are no longer in control. All hell breaks loose. Instinct tells us we are dying.

I have never been more panicked in my whole life. Once your lungs are empty and collapsed and they start to draw fluid it is simply all over. You [b]know[b] you are dead and it's too late. Involuntary and total panic.

There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It would be like telling you not to blink while I stuck a hot needle in your eye.

At the time my lungs emptied and I began to draw water, I would have sold my children to escape. There was no choice, or chance, and willpower was not involved.

It goes without saying that George "We Don't Torture" Bush is going to veto the ban on waterboarding.

(cross posted at appletree and Liberal Avenger)


Anonymous kiwi said...

McCain is beyond belief.

11:52 pm  
Anonymous gordo said...


The American press is also beyond belief. Just two days ago, I saw McCain described as being adamantly anti-torture.

McCain allowed language to be inserted in his anti-torture amendment that effectively neutralized it (link). At Bush's insistence, McCain agreed to remove any penalties for violating the law. And Lindsay Graham, another Republican senator regularly hailed as being anti-torture, authored a separate amendment which allows evidence extracted by torture to be used in tribunals.

So if an American is caught violating McCain's law, he is not imprisoned, fined, or even suspended with pay. Unless other statutes are also broken, the torturer is given complete impunity. And any confession extracted through torture can be used as evidence against the victim, or against other defendants.

8:58 am  
Anonymous phil said...

Can anyone tell me how Obama and Clinto voted? Someone said Clinton wouldn't even make the effort to turn up and vote either way.

4:05 pm  
Anonymous gordo said...


Here's the roll call. 'Yea' was a vote to ban torture. Both Obama and Clinton missed the vote because they were on the campaign trail, but their votes weren't necessary for passage.

6:22 pm  

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