Upon release of the CIA documents that illustrated heinous, inhuman torture of Guantanamo Bay detainees, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) delivered harsh criticism of the CIA’s interrogation program, reported The Huffington Post.
“They [the People] must know when the values that define our nation are intentionally disregarded by our security policies, even those policies that are conducted in secret,” said McCain to the Senate. “They must be able to make informed judgments about whether those policies and the personnel who supported them were justified in compromising our values; whether they served a greater good; or whether, as I believe, they stained our national honor, did much harm and little practical good.”
McCain, a Vietnam War veteran, speaks from first-hand experience. During the conflict, McCain was captured by Viet Cong forces and tortured during his captivity.
“I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence,” said McCain. “I know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering.”
“Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights, which are protected by international conventions the U.S. not only joined, but for the most part authored.”
The CIA documents illustrate an array of damning information that has drawn the ire of many on Capitol Hill, as well as the American public. The CIA has documented incidents of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and anal-induced force feeding. Not to mention, President George W. Bush lied about the government torture program, which his administration allowed. What’s more, the torture methods proved fruitless in that the CIA exaggerated the success they reportedly had with the program.
“I dispute wholeheartedly that it was right for them to use these methods, which this report makes clear were neither in the best interests of justice nor our security nor the ideals we have sacrificed so much blood and treasure to defend,” McCain said in closing. “Our enemies act without conscience. We must not.”