McCain’s Dubious High Ground
John McCain and his band of Republican rebels defying President Bush on the issue of interrogation have a strange attachment to confused argumentation.
By Rich Lowry
For people supposedly occupying the moral high ground, John McCain and his band of Republican rebels defying President Bush on the issue of interrogation have a strange attachment to confused argumentation.
They maintain that the United States can’t define more precisely its obligations for the treatment of unlawful combatants under the vague language of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions to allow the tough interrogations of terrorists, as Bush proposes, lest our troops in turn be tortured upon capture. McCain warns that such a definitional exercise risks “the lives of those Americans who risk everything to defend our country.” What pleasant, alternate reality does the Arizona Republican inhabit?
Perhaps he missed the story a few months ago about the two American soldiers captured by al Qaeda in Iraq. Al Qaeda released a video of them, described by the British newspaper The Guardian: “One of them, partially naked, had been beheaded and his chest cut open. The other’s face was bruised, his jaw apparently broken, and his leg had long gashes. Fighters were shown turning the bodies over and lifting the head of the decapitated man.”
This is savagery immune to a domestic legal debate in the U.S. Maybe McCain and Co. think that the U.S. debate at least will influence our more reasonable adversaries. But since when have we fought a regime — Saddam’s Iraq, Milosevic’s Serbia, North Vietnam, North Korea, Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany — that is not barbarously committed to repression and murder?
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