John McCain has been alternately parading around the Northeast and the capital this week proclaiming that our moral compass will point due terrorist if we dare to clarify the text of Common Article Three of the Geneva Conventions for our intelligence officers.
Colin Powell has been preening his moral feathers as well.
Here's the part of Common Article Three in question (you can read it all at the link):
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment;
"Outrages upon personal dignity?" Pretty vague, I'd agree.
Then, I read about the secret torturous techniques the CIA wants to be able to use:
The techniques sought by the CIA are: induced hypothermia; forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods; sleep deprivation; a technique called "the attention grab" where a suspect's shirt is forcefully seized; the "attention slap" or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage; the "belly slap"; and sound and light manipulation.
So, I started doing some serious citizen journalizing on this story. I mean, if someone's leaking the interrogation techniques, maybe they're leaking tapes of the interrogations as well. I didn't have to go far to find these travesties, each one of which, for the record, makes me weep with heart-ache for the future of my country and its appalling lack of moral GPS.
Just be prepared before you click.
Sound and light manipulation:
This one's actually kinda cool if you're high, but the American government almost never lets the terrorists get high. Little teetotaling Eichmanns!
All right, all right, I jest, but there's a "larger truth" here. If the majority of interrogation techniques McCain and Co. are threatening will put us on the same moral plane as our enemies can be found in You Tube videos of drunk college students, that argument becomes rather ridiculous.
For my part, I think McCain's seriously overestimating the electoral good will this will earn him. Good press, yeah, but if he wants a primary win, he's gonna have to start wooing some people like me, and he doesn't have all that much time left to do it. Between making up for this, McCain-Feingold and the Gang of 14 display, he's got a busy schedule ahead of him. But the the noble maverick must buck, I reckon.
Update: I forgot to add the actual news, which is that McCain wants a compromise. Warner is 50-50 on the chances of getting something done this week, and the White House is apparently changing the bill to appease the Gang of 14 alums, though there are no details on how (scroll down).