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February 13, 2008

McCain: Gitmo Six Not Deserving of Protections of American Law

Not the full protections, at least. But there is some hope for optimism about a McCain presidency. I guess.

I asked the Senator whether he would have any reservations about the execution of the six detainees on trial at Guantanamo Bay for their role in the 9/11 attacks, whether he is comfortable with the current legal regime for trying detainees, and whether the interrogation techniques used there cast doubt on the fairness of the trials. His response:

McCain: No. I would not have concerns. I rely to a large degree on my friend Lindsey Graham, who is a JAG lawyer and who has been intimately involved in this whole process. These are not individuals who deserve the protections of the kind of judicial process that a citizen of the United States would have. We did not give those rights and privileges in the Nuremberg tribunals...these tribunals as far as I can tell...are appropriate and they are the way to address these particular cases...and there's nothing in the Geneva Conventions or any other rule of law that I've ever seen that said that the same rights and privileges apply to them as apply to American citizens.

I'm not sure that this position makes sense -- waterboarding and other forms of "torture" are absolutely prohibited by the US Constitution and the Geneva Conventions and human dignity itself, but testimony elicited by such means can be used at trial? A capital trial, no less?

Does he think these things or is it just all about his instincts and sense of moral outrage?

I could easily make an argument that the correct answer is precisely the opposite: Yes, such tactics can be used to gather information from high-value terrorists to prevent human deaths, but information elicited from such tactics cannot be used in any sort of legal proceeding. That position, at least, makes a kind of sense.

McCain's really doesn't.

I guess it is an acceptable answer. Barely.

More at Goldfarb, including Scalia's thoughts on torture and the Eighth Amendment.

Also related: McCain, the war, and the GOP. We seem to be almost a single-issue party, and maybe at this point that's what we need to be.

More: hit and run points out the following:

1) Did you see this from Geraghty?

Wisconsin Poll: Democrats No Better on Iraq Than Bush

Some eye-opening polls result from Strategic Vision in Wisconsin:


7. Do you believe that Democrats in Congress have a better plan to resolve the Iraq War then President Bush?

Yes 18%
No 71%
Undecided 11%

Iraq, no longer a winning issue for Congressional Democrats. In that hawkish, hard-right state of Wisconsin.

2) Brian Faughn ended his blog at WWS that you linked to:

The strength of Iraq as an issue was unforeseen just a few months ago. It's possible that an as-yet undetected bias toward supporters of the Iraq war will play a role in the general election, as well.

Others did see this coming,it should be noted.

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posted by Ace at 04:56 PM

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