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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good Point

posted by on August 19 at 14:54 PM

Andrew Sullivan points out that while John McCain was a prisoner of war, he was subjected to sleep deprivation and stress positions, he was forced to stand for long periods of time and he was beaten. Which means he wasn’t tortured—at least according to the Bush administration’s definition of torture.

Now who will ask the president if John McCain was tortured or not?

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I like this - too bad it couldn't be used in a political argument since suggesting that POWs lie, cheat, or distort their positions for financial gain is comparable to raping the Statue of Liberty.

Posted by Ziggity | August 19, 2008 3:05 PM

Put me on TV. I'll say everything else too. You know, the stuff they tell you not to say.

Posted by Mr. Poe | August 19, 2008 3:05 PM

That French whore was asking for it Ziggity.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | August 19, 2008 3:06 PM

@1: Tell that to Max Cleland.

Posted by Burkinaboy | August 19, 2008 3:24 PM

Again, an even more relevant question: John McCain was in a better position than just about anybody to know whether or not such "enhanced interrogation" techniques are effective. So either they aren't, in which case his support for the use of such practices makes no sense, or they are, in which case his personal testimonials about how he never gave his captors any useful information are not truthful. He's either endorsing ineffective methods or he's lying about his own experiences.

Posted by flamingbanjo | August 19, 2008 3:31 PM

Or both.

My hope is that all this niceness ends on debate night. Obama can call him on it all on live TV. Now wouldn't THAT be something to see?

Posted by monkey | August 19, 2008 3:57 PM

Contrast that with cry-baby-Bama who winces if anyone asks him a hard question or calls him a "mean name".


Posted by John Bailo | August 19, 2008 4:00 PM

#7: Quotation marks are used to indicate that you are quoting somebody.

Posted by flamingbanjo | August 19, 2008 4:37 PM

@8: Not necessarily. You can also use quotes to indicate that the phrase is used ironically. It seems correct here (except he should have put the period inside the quote, but who cares?).

Posted by yuiop | August 19, 2008 4:51 PM

For some reason I thought they broke his arm. Is that not true?

Posted by M | August 19, 2008 5:01 PM

I can prove he was tortured.

Look, he already has delusions that he was Alexander S in the Gulag.


Posted by Will in Seattle | August 19, 2008 5:04 PM

You should put on the uniform first, before you see yourself as qualified to comment on someone's experience as a prisoner of war and attempt to make a mockery of it. Regardless of political affiliation or belief.

Posted by papillon | August 19, 2008 5:24 PM

The point here isn't commenting on his experience papillon, it's commenting on what the dude has or hasn't learned from his experience.

And the contradiction is worth highlighting.

Posted by gnossos | August 19, 2008 5:44 PM

@12: If McCain has the right to present his POW experience as some sort of unquestionable testament to his character and as an inviolable reason to vote for him, then we all have the right to comment on and discuss that experience, regardless of civilian status.

Posted by Darcy | August 19, 2008 5:45 PM


Hypocrisy knows no uniform.

Posted by keshmeshi | August 19, 2008 6:31 PM

Even if he was waterboarded he still wouldn't qualify as a torture survivor by Bush's definition.

@12: Asking a politician who was a POW 40 years ago how that has affected his position on torture today is a fair question. And it is not disrespectful to other torture survivors, soldier or civilian, to call John McCain on a difficult position to defend. How does he define torture? If (God forbid) McCain becomes president, will he continue the Bush administration's policy of denying that the US government has tortured anyone by raising the definition of torture so high that even crucifixion wouldn't qualify? This is a relevant issue in this election and we as voters have a right to hear both candidates' position.

Posted by RainMan | August 19, 2008 7:07 PM


Besides, our kind host legally can't put that uniform on anyway...something else McCain supports.

Posted by David | August 19, 2008 7:42 PM

I'd say the beat down they gave him where they broke most his limbs qualifies. I agree the guy's coasting on the torture thing to duck questions, but I think what he went through was hell.

Posted by Ferin | August 19, 2008 7:49 PM

Everyone wants soundbites rather than actually studying the candidate's position on things. Sure, sure, yeah, yeah, MCCAIN SUPPORTS TORTURE OHMIGOD. Or you could actually read and consider McCain's explanation of why he voted for or against whatever bill you're talking about, not that you have any idea about what the fuck you're talking about.

Posted by Ron | August 19, 2008 8:38 PM

Torture is probably the only platform where McCain is not totally full of shit-

I'd avoid the topic if I were hoping to get President O in office.

Posted by Karlheinz Arschbomber | August 19, 2008 10:22 PM

In 2004 John Kerry was promoted as a war hero, having been awarded 3 Purple Hearts during 4 months of combat in Vietnam. He suffered no serious injuries and spent no time recovering in any hospital. Bush's military record became an issue as it did not measure up to John Kerry's service to his country. John McCain was bayoneted, suffered broken bones, no medical treatment, and spent over 5 years in a prisoner of war camp. And yet he is the one being accused of exploiting his military service for political gain. Makes sense to me.

Posted by papillon | August 20, 2008 12:51 AM

and, @12, unlike you, I served.

Posted by Will in Seattle | August 20, 2008 1:46 AM


Your first post indicates otherwise.

Posted by papillon | August 20, 2008 3:33 AM

Fly away, papillon.

Posted by Jen | August 20, 2008 4:30 AM

@papillion - Your position that one must "wear the uniform" to criticize the military and those who carry out orders is bullshit.

Our military is made up of civilian volunteers, who ultimately answer to a civilian government. Anything less is Fascism. Are you advocating Fascism?

Posted by Soupytwist | August 20, 2008 8:28 AM

@25: Easy on the straw there. The idea that we can't put tough questions on policy to our own presidential candidates is total bullshit, which is why I don't want to see papillon worm out of this one by calling straw man argument.

Posted by vitupera | August 20, 2008 8:57 AM

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