Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Of all the people...

...that should get it, John McCain most patently does not.

McCain was tortured, severely, by the North Vietnamese during his years in captivity in the Hanoi Hilton. And yet McCain is doing more than just about any other figure in U.S. government to warp the definition of torture and hamper our intelligence community and military's ability to obtain useful information from terrorists captured on the battlefield.

Set aside for a moment the fundamental issue that un-uniformed terrorists who do not fight for a nation are not entitled to Geneva Convention protections. McCain's behavior just doesn't make any sense to me. He should be leading the effort to differentiate between aggresive interrogation and torture.

Is it just posturing for a presidential run? Or like former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, is it that the formative experience of his life has clouded his ability to think rationally on questions both directly and peripherally related to this issue?

You may recall that, as a child, Norman Mineta, an American of Japanese descent, was interned along with his family during WWII. I, for one, believe that this forever impaired his ability to think sensibly about matters in which race was a factor - most notably his resistance to the idea of profiling vis-a-vis airline security.

I think McCain is suffering from the same impairment. Surely a man who can no longer raise his arms above shoulder level should be able to recognize that allowing a dog to bark at a terrorist detainee is not torture!

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