Maguire and Reynolds On Torture

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They're claiming that McCain supports it. He doesn't. They also mock him as a "saint." He isn't. He's an American. Americans don't torture people. Or at least they never have until this war criminal president took over. McCain wants it banned absolutely under the law in all circumstances - as it was, until last year's disgraceful cave-in by the Congress. Look: in the one in ten million, never-happened-in-human-history, infinitesimal chance that we really do have a ticking nuclear bomb and we also know - not just suspect - but know that a detainee knows where it is, no president would not endorse torture as an extraordinary extra-legal emergency measure. Under those circumstances, he and those deputed to do it would also, however, subsequently subject themselves to the criminal process as war-criminals, and if it were retroactively seen as the correct judgment, their sentence might be commuted. Or not. I've endorsed this position as well.

But what Reynolds and Maguire and others support is the permanent routine use of torture, legally protected, and a cadre of professional CIA torturers trained to do it on a regular basis.

They support any techniques that the president chooses, (that was in the law passed last year). That was the position of all the other candidates bar Paul and McCain. It is light years away from McCain's position, from George Washington's position and from the position of every other president in American history. What Bush supports is the legal use of torture whenever "military necessity" requires it, a fantastically broad term which has transformed the morals and moral climate in the US military so that up to a third of soldiers approve its use just in routine interrogation of mere terror suspects in the field. Thousands of guilty - but mainly innocent - people have been tortured by the U.S. these past few years, and scores have been tortured to death. (Yes, 80 percent of those abused and tortured in Abu Ghraib under Rumsfeld's directives were innocent. According to the Pentagon.) Sorry, Tom. I'm glad you're discovering a conscience. But this flim-flam won't do. The extreme, one in ten million exception, that remains extra-legal, is light years from the routine, legal torture of mere terror suspects that you support and that this president has enforced, and that has helped us lose this war you claim to want to win.

McCain is not a saint. He's a patriot. Torture-mongers are merely traitors to this country's history, honor and survival as a constitutional republic.

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