April 27, 2009

John McCain admitted to Bob Schieffer on Face The Nation that the US violated the Geneva Conventions under George W. Bush regarding the abusive treatment of prisoners.

You know, that torture thing.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN (Ranking, Armed Services Committee): First of all let me repeat what you just said, Bob. I have opposed torture. It's violation of the Geneva Conventions. I worry about treatment of Americans in future conflicts.

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: The-- the allegations are that they gave the wrong counsel that’s and—- and that bad things were done. And we violated fundamental commitments that the United States of America made when we signed the Geneva Conventions. And we disregarded what might happen to Americans who are held captive in the future. And by the way, those who say our enemies won’t abide the Geneva Conventions they will if they know there’s going to retribution for their violation of it.

BOB SCHIEFFER: Let me ask you about this quickly, Jay Bybee who was one of the people at the Justice department that wrote the memos that gave the CIA what they call the legal reasons to go ahead with all this, he’s now a federal judge. We understand that he very much regrets, or at least he’s told people, he regrets having written those memos. Do you think that he should be impeached or do you think that he should resign or you-- you think he should be left alone?

SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: Well, a resignation would be a decision he would have to make on his own. But he falls into the same category as everybody else as far as giving very bad advice and misinterpreting fundamentally what the United States is all about, much less things like the Geneva Conventions. Plus--under President Reagan we signed an agreement against torture, we’re in violation of that...

So tell me what are the penalties for violating the Geneva Conventions? John McCain freely admitted that our great country violated the agreements we signed up for. Is it an act of vengeance that the people who broke those treaties should be prosecuted or is it just following the law?

A hat tip to Library Grape, who emailed me the tip. They add:

Although McCain said that we now just need to move on, I'm impressed by his ability to speak the truth. To his point about moving on, however, if McCain admits that the Bush administration violated the Geneva Conventions and the U.N. Convention Against Torture, that means that the people that formulated the torture policy are guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. I just don't get how you can "move on" from fundamental violations of U.S. and international law that we routinely call on other nations to prosecute.

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