Tags: mccain | cia | torture | report | fallout

McCain: CIA Torture Went Against 'Everything America Stands For'

By    |   Sunday, 14 December 2014 01:41 PM

Some of the practices used by CIA interrogators to gather information from captured prisoners went against "everything that America values and stands for," Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday.

McCain believes it was right to release a controversial Senate report on the matter last week.

"I had some mixed emotions about it," McCain, who was one of the few Republicans who voted to release the report, told "Face the Nation" moderator Bob Schieffer Sunday. "But the reason why I think I came down and said that we should is because that's what America is all about. We do things wrong, we make mistakes. We review those and we vow never to do them again."

McCain, who was tortured while being held as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, said the CIA's practices "were violations of the Geneva convention for the treatment of prisoners."

He said, though, that he does understand why the procedures were used in the years following the 9/11 attacks, when the United States was attempting to find those who were guilty and to prevent further incidents from happening.

"I make of it a whole range of motives from people who were so understandably alarmed and angered by the attacks of 9/11, that their first motivation is do whatever is necessary to make sure there's never again a repetition," and because of the desire for revenge that "all of us felt."

He also disagrees with concerns voiced by some lawmakers and people in the intelligence committee that releasing the report will bring violence from the nation's enemies.

"What we need to do is come clean, we move forward and we vow never to do it again," said McCain. "We are a nation that acknowledges our mistakes and we move forward and we're not going to be inhumane."

McCain said he does not know much about how Congress may have been misled by the CIA about the extent of its agents activities.

"I was not on the Intelligence Committee in that aspect," said McCain, noting that in meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney and then-CIA director Gen. Michael Hayden, he pointed out that "these things are torture, in violation of the Geneva Convention."

He encourages everybody to read the report and the CIA's communications.

"You can't claim that tying someone to the floor and have them freeze to death is not torture," said McCain. "You can't say 18 times someone is waterboarded," a technique that began with the Spanish Inquisition and was also done during World War II, when Japanese war criminals were tried and hanged for waterboarding Americans.

And McCain agreed with experts that torture does not work as an interrogation technique, quoting Gen. David Petraeus.

"There's no man alive that is a military leader that I respect more than Gen. Petraeus,: said McCain, quoting him as saying that while "'we are warriors, we are also human beings. If you want information from a detainee you become his best friend.'"


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Some of the practices used by CIA interrogators to gather information from captured prisoners went against everything that America values and stands for, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Sunday. McCain believes it was right to release a controversial Senate report...
mccain, cia, torture, report, fallout
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2014-41-14
Sunday, 14 December 2014 01:41 PM
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