Monday, December 19, 2005

McCarthy vs. McCain

One of the contributors to National Review Online that I enjoy the most is Andrew McCarthy. I've mentioned him several times in previous posts. He has a new piece taking on John McCain's torture ban. Here's a link.

Quite simply it's devastating. Reading it, I am completely baffled as to why anyone would want to extend such magnanimity and mercy to our enemies. McCarthy goes one better and shows how such a ban would be unconstitutional and dangerous.

John McCain, of all people, who suffered genuine torture at the hands of his Vietnamese captors during his imprisonment at the Hanoi Hilton (reportedly he can't even comb his own hair since he can't raise his arms above his shoulders), knows what real torture is.

McCain, of all people, should know that the abuses which took place at Abu Ghraib hardly constitute torture. In fact, I would hazard a guess that given the choice between enduring the torture they did and enduring the "torture" of the sort seen at Abu Ghraib, the "guests" at the Hanoi Hilton would have jumped at the latter.

What's even worse is that McCarthy shows how the adoption of McCain's amendment (which was tacked on to a defense appropriations bill so that those opposing the amendment could be accused of not "supporting the troops") would lead to the extension of Miranda protections to terrorists. With the extension of Miranda rights to enemy combatants would come court-appointed attorneys, paid for by the American taxpayers. It would also mean the right against self-incrimination.

All this means that non-American enemy combatants, captured on the battlefield, outside the United States, would have the same rights as you or I if we were accused of a crime.

Indeed, McCarthy shows how this has already happened. In the case of one of the Nairobi embassy bombers, a judge ruled that the perpetrator's confession should be supressed on grounds that he wasn't Mirandized.

Wait, it gets worse. The terrorist in question wasn't even in the United States at the time. He was in Kenya. Nor was he in U.S. custody; he was in Kenyan custody. The Kenyans (in this instance, better allies than the French) had agreed to allow FBI investigators to interrogate him. The judge ruled that this was enough to guarantee him Miranda protections.

Those of you under the erroneous impression that perhaps the Founding Fathers intended for such protections to apply to our enemies, McCarthy demostrates how this is not the case. McCarthy writes that "the very purpose of forming government was to secure...[our] rights from such enemies. It is impossible to separate the substance of the Fifth, Eighth and Fourteenth Amendment protections from the fact that those protections are designed to benefit only people who have joined the fabric of our society."

These are the likely results of the passing of the McCain amendment. I expect this kind of crap from Barbara Boxer or Diane Pelosi, but not McCain. (Although ever since the 2000 primary he has seemed to delight in his role as a gadfly.)

I can't believe that Bush can't even bring himself to veto this affront to our security. I despair that Bush will never learn this basic lesson: those on the Left don't hate him because they don't support his policies; they don't support his policies because they hate him.

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