Many controversial things happened after the attacks on the World Trade Center back in 2001. The country has been in a state of fear ever since. President George W. Bush at the time was prepared to implement sweeping changes to the way the country was run. It was around this time that mass surveillance became solidified in the United States. Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan under questionable circumstances and notoriously used of torture as an interrogation method. The Bush administration went to great lengths to protect anyone performing torture methods like waterboarding from prosecution. This resulted in often terrible situations where prisoners of war were taken to hidden sites in foreign countries and then tortured in secret.
Americans started to learn that the Central Intelligence Agency, or CIA, and some in the military were employing torture as a method for extracting information from suspects. A large number of Americans were horrified to learn what was being done to prisoners of war. A massive report was even assembled through the Congress that showed the United States approved of tactics such as “rectal rehydration“. Some innocent people died because of the torture and neglect they were forced to endure at the hands of Americans. The idea of legitimizing torture was very unpopular for a long time… But for whatever reason, this changed recently.
Things took a sharp turn during a recent Republican presidential debate, when Republican candidates were asked about torture on stage. Frontrunner Donald Trump said that he would bring back waterboarding. He went even further and claimed that he would “bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding” to combat terrorism. Two other candidates on stage also said that they would bring torture back as an interrogation technique. These words understandably upset Senator John McCain of Arizona, a man who suffered unimaginably at the hands of the Vietnamese during our occupation of Vietnam.
McCain was captured by the enemy. McCain remained a prisoner of war for many years. He faced terrible conditions and torture while he was in captivity. John McCain could never forget that experience, which has resulted in many permanent health problems. He has spoken about it on many occasions and people on both sides of the political aisle consider McCain a war hero. McCain has also been an integral part of the nation’s defense for some time – he is privy to classified and secret information passed down from the Pentagon and generals in the field. This is what made his words so powerful.
Senator McCain appeared on Fox News, on the show called Outnumbered. He was asked about what Trump and the other candidates said about torture at the debate, to which McCain showed visible disgust. He came right out and said that anyone who believes torture provides good intelligence is wrong or lying. He claims that people who said torture was how the military gained the intelligence to find Osama Bin Laden were lying as well. He went into detail about how a person being tortured will say anything just to get it to stop. McCain also talked about how what he saw as a senator consistently proved the information gleaned from torture was incorrect and false.
McCain spoke about how the most effective method for gathering intelligence from prisoners is to establish a relationship and befriend the person. The debate over torture in the United States has apparently been fired up again. The Republican candidates want to return to torturing people while Democratic candidates steadfastly assert the idea of torture as beneath the country and ineffective. Senator John McCain speaks for many people who were prisoners of war over the years. He reminded the hosts on Fox News that the United States tried and hung officers from Japan after World War II for using torture techniques like waterboarding.