Andrew Sullivan makes a powerful argument against torture from our current presidential campaign. How do we know that torture leads to false intelligence information and false confessions? Because John McCain, treated with the same torture techniques we’ve been using, made a false confession.
Is it not a rather fantastic historical irony that the torture techniques that the North Vietnamese used against McCain that forced him to offer a videotaped false confession … are now the techniques the Bush administration is using to gain “intelligence” about terror networks.
How is it possible to know that everything John McCain once said on videotape for the enemy was false, because it was coerced, and yet assert that everything we torture out of terror suspects using exactly the same techniques, is true?
Well said. And well thought out.
Here is a video of Phillippe Sands, director of the Center on International Courts and Tribunals, testifying before a House committee on torture. He talks about the British experience with the IRA and their rejection of torture. He also talks at the end about McCain’s experiences.