Why the McCain Amendment Won't Ban Torture

History Professor and author Alfred McCoy, writing in Mother Jones, explains why the McCain Amendment won't ban torture. In fact, it may legitimize it.

Under pressure from the White House, the senators also loaded this legislation with loopholes that may soon allow coerced testimony -- extracted through torture -- into American courts for the first time in two centuries.

This disconcerting contrast is but one sign that, under the Bush administration, the United States is moving to publicly legitimate the use of torture, even to the point of twisting this congressional ban on inhumane interrogation in ways that could ultimately legalize such acts. And following their President's lead, the American people seem to be developing a tolerance, even a taste, for torture.

This country may, in fact, be undergoing an historic shift with profound implications for America's international standing. It seems to be moving from the wide-ranging but highly secretive tortures wielded by the Central Intelligence Agency during the Cold War decades to an open, even proud use of coercive interrogation as a formal weapon in the arsenal of American power, acceptable both to U.S. courts and the American people.

There's lots more here, I recommend reading all of it. Professor McCoy is the author of the author of A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror (Metropolitan Books, The American Empire Project, 2006)

< House Committee Hearing on Torture Today | Report: More than Half of Gitmo Detainees Not Accused of Hostile Acts >
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  • Re: Why the McCain Amendment Won't Ban Torture (none / 0) (#1)
    by squeaky on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 11:34:03 AM EST
    Not to mention Bush's infamous 'signing statement' on the bill, claiming that he can do whatever he wants..because, well, he's the predisent.

    Re: Why the McCain Amendment Won't Ban Torture (none / 0) (#2)
    by Steven Sanderson on Wed Feb 08, 2006 at 01:15:39 PM EST
    Nationalism run amok - America now has a Glee Club for torture. How low will we sink before the un-Enlightened finally awaken?