When asked to judge the Bush administration this morning during an interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said “history will judge that” but then immediately began making an attempt to distance himself from President Bush. One area of “disagreement” McCain cited was torture:
McCAIN: I obviously don’t want to torture any prisoners. There’s a long list of areas that we were in disagreement on –
WALLACE: You’re not suggesting he did want to torture prisoners.
McCAIN: Well, waterboarding to me is torture, OK? And waterboarding was advocated by the administration and, according to published reports, was used. But the point is, we’ve had our disagreements.
McCain seems to forget that he voted against a bill that would have banned the CIA from using waterboarding. In fact, when the bill passed, McCain urged Bush to veto it, which he did. Thus, McCain’s claim that he “obviously doesn’t want to torture prisoners” rings hollow. Indeed, because of Bush’s veto, the CIA retains the option of waterboarding prisoners:
Of course he was on FOX and probably thought no one would be paying attention.