A minor suggestion to Andy’s idea that we call the McCain Amendment the “McCain Amendment with al-Qaeda”: since al-Qaeda has no intention of signing any treaty, and we would be unilaterlly conferring rights on these killers, we might want to call it the “McCain Bill of Rights for al-Qaeda.” And perhaps those who support it might form a group, with the help of George Soros, called “People for the Ethical Treatment of Terrorists.” (Hat tip to the person who suggested this name to me, whose identity I don’t recall.)
While I’m on the subject of terrorists’ rights, back to Andrew Sullivan. As he’s into links, as opposed to crafting his own case for terrorists’ rights, in October the State Department issued a balanced and useful report . Moreover, if Andrew’s characterization of U.S. armed forces treatment of detainees is accurate, i.e., if they perform widespread torture, and if they have been authorized to inflict torture by the highest levels of our government, then I suppose he would conclude that Dick Durbin’s reprehensible accusation against our troops is accurate too. For those who forgot, Durbin said, in part:
“If I read this [email] to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime–Pol Pot or others–that had no concern for human beings.”
Frankly, I see little difference between Durbin’s and Andrew’s characterizations. So caught up in their own pseudo-moralizing that they sound foolish. The problem with McCain, however, is that his pseudo-moralizing has become the basis of law-making, which will harm our national security.