Flip-Flops: McCain Has Them

John McCain in November on using the Army Field Manual to govern interrogation techniques:

I would hope that we would understand, my friends, that life is not 24 and Jack Bauer. Life is interrogation techniques which are humane and yet effective. And I just came back from visiting a prison in Iraq. The army general there said that techniques under the Army Field Manual are working and working effectively, and he didn’t think they need to do anything else. My friends, this is what America is all about. [Via ThinkProgress]

ThinkProgress has more on McCain’s previous anti-waterboarding stance:

McCain has said the practice “is not a complicated procedure. It is torture.” He has previously called waterboarding “very exquisite torture.”

John McCain today voted against Intelligence Authorization conference report, which makes the Army Field Manual the governing document when it comes to torture. Here’s the relevant section:

SEC. 327. LIMITATION ON INTERROGATION TECHNIQUES. (a) Limitation- No individual in the custody or under the effective control of an element of the intelligence community or instrumentality thereof, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to any treatment or technique of interrogation not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations….

Let’s be clear. McCain has said he’s against torture, he thinks waterboarding is torture, and he thinks the Army Field Manual is the best guideline for how we should treat prisoners. Then he votes against making the Manual the benchmark, which would have banned waterboarding and torture. That is, McCain was for banning torture before he was against banning torture.

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