Torture and the Frat Boys in Congress
I respect Senator McCain’s view on torture and his outspoken and candid approach about it.
The book The Faith of My Fathers is John McCain’s biography. I read and reviewed that book over six years ago during McCain’s run for the presidency. In it he describes in detail and at length the suffering he has endured under torture as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. Here is a brief post I wrote about a visit of McCain back to Vietnam.
John McCain has more authority and standing, by far, than any of his colleagues in the U.S. Senate when it comes to rendering judgment about our nation’s endeavors into torture.
Yet there are his fellow-Republican frat boys who are expressing outrage over the report’s release.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the Democrats who run the intelligence committee were exposing the CIA’s shocking treatment of detainees purely for “partisan joy.” What a ridiculous comment. This is America. We deserve to know the truth. “Truth” is defined as what really happened, whether it is convenient, pretty or outrageous. Deal with it, Senator Rubio. I want to know and have a right to know what my government is doing in my name, with my money.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz said the “partisan report will endanger lives, drive away our allies – who have never been needed more than now – and undermine the ability of our intelligence officers and soldiers to protect our national security.” Too bad, Senator Cruz. If our nation had stood up for its own values and behaved like we all hypocritically pretend it should, we would not have created this problem for ourselves in the first place. Most of this mess we are in we have created for ourselves in over 50 years of meddling with people we don’t care about and we don’t understand, mostly because we wanted their oil. This is what happens when you stir a hornets nest. And now you’re vilifying a report about something we did. We did it alright. Deal with it, Senator Cruz.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said he had “mixed feelings” and was concerned that the “gruesomeness of the details may well inflame people.” Well, if we hadn’t done the gruesome things you’re talking about, we would not be in this situation. But we did.
Marco Rubio never served in the military.
Ted Cruz was valedictorian in high school and has had a brilliant academic career, including Harvard University. He never served in the military.
Rand Paul has an M.D. degree. He never served in the military.
Overall, there are only 18 senators who have any military service in their background.
And then there is Dick Cheney. Even though he was Secretary of Defense, he never served in the military. He said he “never served” because of deferments to finish a college career that lasted six years rather than four, which he attributed to subpar academic performance and the fact that he had to work to pay for his education. Dick Cheney had asked for and received five deferments, four because he was a student and one for being a new father.
I’ll take Senator McCain’s opinion about torture over that of any other senator, especially that of the frat boys and their cronies.
U.S. Signed United Nations Against Torture Convention in 1984
In 1984, the U.S., along with most nations in the world, signed and ratified the convention against torture.
Article 1.1 defines torture:
Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person, information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions.
— Convention Against Torture, Article 1.1
Check out this Wikipedia Article for background information.