McCain’s consistency on torture by mattsteinglass
April 27, 2009, 9:58 am
Filed under: Human Rights and Torture, Vietnam


John McCain (left) greets staff of the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Hanoi, April 8, 2009. Photo © Matt Steinglass.

John McCain (left) greets staff of the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Hanoi, April 8, 2009. Photo © Matt Steinglass.

He was tortured by Vietnamese Communists, but “moved on” to support normalizing relations rather than pursuing punishment of the torturers. Now he says the US needs to “move on” rather than pursue punishment of those who established the American torture system.

It has a certain consistency. One could of course point out the differences. McCain never had the capacity to punish those who tortured him; Vietnam wasn’t going to prosecute them. We could, however, punish the architects of American torture. Then, it’s one thing for McCain, the victim of torture, to decide that the pursuit of justice is less important than “moving on”; but we were not the victims of the torture meted out by the CIA, and no one seems to be asking Jose Padilla how he feels about whether those who tortured him should be impeached, tried on criminal charges, etc. Binyam Mohamed, the British resident who was tortured by the CIA at a black site in Afghanistan, appears not to be in a forgiving mood.

Finally, one might point out that the fact that Vietnamese torturers were never punished is related to the fact that, according to US State Department human rights reports, beatings and extrajudicial force are still widely applied in Vietnam’s penal system. (“On May 1, Y Ben Hdok, a Montagnard from Dak Lak, died while in detention in the Buon Ma Thuot provincial police station. Police detained him on April 28 for questioning regarding his suspected involvement in inciting demonstrations. Officials stated that the suspect hanged himself during a break in questioning, but family members said his corpse was bruised. No investigation was carried out, and the family reportedly refused to authorize an autopsy.” And so forth.)


3 Comments so far
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Let’s see… John McCain was tortured by the North Vietnamese and for 35 years and he MILKED that fact constantly. His open display of “his sacrafice” has been the primary reason why he “outshown” his competitors for his entire political career.
Now that the current torture controversy hurts his political party and, by extension, his political career, John now says let’s just “move on”. Nobody can accuse “Honorable” John of being a hesitant flip-flopper.

Comment by duane w

McCain has no shame. Never did have any. Getting shot down was the best thing that ever happened to him, cause he made a career out of it.

Comment by azjhutch

move on??

here’s McCain in 2000, talking about his captors:
“I hated the gooks. I will hate them as long as I live.”


Comment by cleek

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