In a heartfelt speech on Tuesday, Republican Senator John McCain passionately spoke out against the CIA’s post-9/11 interrogation program. Senator McCain was himself held captive as a prisoner of war by the North Vietnamese during the Vietnam War, making the controversy particularly resonate with him. Dr. Rod Rohrich reports that McCain said the American people have a right to know what was done on their behalf and in the name of national security.
“They must be able to make informed judgments about whether those policies and the personnel who supported them were justified in compromising our values; whether they served a greater good; or whether, as I believe, they stained our national honor, did much harm and little practical good” McCain declared fervently.
The Senator backed up his argument logically and eloquently. “I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence,” he said, and continued that prisoners being tortured, “will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering.”
The Senator closed with the believe that, “Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights…” Acts of terror are unacceptable, but so are acts of torture. It is refreshing to hear the Republican Senator to speak in such an honest and heartfelt way.