Wednesday, November 30, 2005

This Is Interesting

Two weeks ago John McCain was on this blog for his plea to end the torture of our prisoners.

Well now I came across this.


John McCain: Torture Worked on Me

Sen. John McCain is leading the charge against so-called "torture" techniques allegedly used by U.S. interrogators, insisting that practices like sleep deprivation and withholding medical attention are not only brutal - they simply don't work to persuade terrorist suspects to give accurate information.

Nearly forty years ago, however - when McCain was held captive in a North Vietnamese prison camp - some of the same techniques were used on him. And - as McCain has publicly admitted at least twice - the torture worked!

In his 1999 autobiography, "Faith of My Fathers," McCain describes how he was severely injured when his plane was shot down over Hanoi - and how his North Vietnamese interrogators used his injuries to extract information.

"Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I did not cooperate," he wrote.

"I thought they were bluffing and refused to provide any information beyond my name, rank and serial number, and date of birth. They knocked me around a little to force my cooperation."

The punishment finally worked, McCain said. "Eventually, I gave them my ship's name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant."

Recalling how he gave up military information to his interrogators, McCain said: "I regret very much having done so. The information was of no real use to the Vietnamese, but the Code of Conduct for American Prisoners of War orders us to refrain from providing any information beyond our names, rank and serial number."

The episode wasn't the only instance when McCain broke under physical pressure.

Just after his release in May 1973, he detailed his experience as a P.O.W. in a lengthy account in U.S. News & World Report.

He described the day Hanoi Hilton guards beat him "from pillar to post, kicking and laughing and scratching. After a few hours of that, ropes were put on me and I sat that night bound with ropes."

"For the next four days, I was beaten every two to three hours by different guards . . . Finally, I reached the lowest point of my 5 1/2 years in North Vietnam. I was at the point of suicide, because I saw that I was reaching the end of my rope."

McCain was taken to an interrogation room and ordered to sign a document confessing to war crimes. "I signed it," he recalled. "It was in their language, and spoke about black crimes, and other generalities."

"I had learned what we all learned over there," McCain said. "Every man has his breaking point. I had reached mine."

That McCain broke under torture doesn't make him any less of an American hero. But it does prove he's wrong to claim that harsh interrogation techniques simply don't work.

I agree, he is no less a hero, and I agree, as he says, Every man has his breaking point.

This is my problem with McCain, he has been called a Maverick because he isn't afraid to go against the Washington majority thoughts.

Of course not, what John McCain does, is jump on whatever the Popular Public Opinion at the moment.

That's why everyone likes him!

He says what everybody just heard on the news, or from a conversation they overheard, and all of the sudden McCain sounds like a genious.

Well as a politician, maybe he is.

But that is the last thing we need in our leaders at this time in our history.

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