10-3-2011By Daphne Eviatar
Senior Associate, Law and Security
We’re thrilled to see Senator John McCain once again stand against the use of torture and so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”
Responding to former Vice President Dick Cheney’s claim on Sunday that the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen last week was equivalent to the Bush administration’s torture of detainees in U.S. custody, McCain quickly dismissed that idea on CNN’s American Morning today.
“In the case of, quote, enhanced interrogation, i.e., torture, there are Geneva Conventions, there are laws that prohibit it. And it is very obvious that one of the great recruitment tools that our enemy has is the fact that we tortured people, which is not in keeping with the standards of the treatment of prisoners which is a long held custom. And, by the way, we never got useful information as a result of torture, but we sure got a lot of angry citizens from around the world and deservedly so,” McCain said.
Cheney, speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday called on President Obama to apologize to the Bush administration in the wake of al-Awlaki’s death for criticizing its use of torture in the interrogation of suspected terrorists.
McCain responded by noting that Congress voted overwhelmingly to ban abusive treatment back in 2005.
“Well, it was 90-6 in the United States Senate to prohibit cruel and inhumane mistreatment. It was an amendment in a peaceful legislation that I was the sponsor of. The Senate has spoken. The American people have spoken. The people of the world have spoken. Torturing people in violation of international agreements such as the Geneva Conventions is prohibited, and frankly very harmful to the image of the United States of America,” he said.