Wednesday, February 13, 2008

John McCain, Torturer

... or, at least, supporter of torture.

Today the Senate voted on a bill which, among other things, would hold all federal agencies to the code of conduct in the Army Field Manual in regard to questioning prisoners. In other words, waterboarding and other forms of torture would be clearly and plainly illegal.

The Republicans in the Senate had threatened to block the vote, but they decided to let it go. Part of the reason was that George W. Bush has promised to veto the bill. Another reason, as speculated on by Paul Kiel at TPMMuckraker, is that a cloture vote would force John McCain, a long-time vocal opponent of torture, to either vote to filibuster the bill and betray his principles... or else vote for the bill and go against his party, which is pretty much unified as gung-ho for torture. Without a cloture vote- with a straight up-down majority vote- McCain could abstain or vote "Present" or just not be there for the vote, thereby avoiding damage.

Well, that speculation on Kiel's part didn't hold up so well.

The final vote was 51-45. The bill goes to Bush for his inevitable veto.

McCain voted against it.

Repeating: McCain voted against a bill that would make it illegal for the FBI, CIA, etc. to use torture.

Which means McCain voted in FAVOR of torture.

Straight talk, yessir- straight like a two-lane West Virginia road.

(Other notable votes: Clinton and Obama were both out on the stump and did not vote. Republicans Susan Collins (ME), Chuck Hagel (NE), Wossname Lugar (IN), Idunno Smith (OR), Olympia Snow (ME) all voted Yea. Democrat Bill Nelson (NE) voted Nay. Independent Joe Lieberman (CT) voted Nay. Independent Bernie Sanders (VT) voted Yea.
All other Democrats voted Yea and Republicans Nay, except for those not voting.)

No comments: