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Friday, December 09, 2005

McCain on Verge of Victory with Torture

It looks like a victory for Senator John McCain. After relentless pressure, he has won the battle and it looks like his torture ban bill will go ahead. Along the way he has fought a hawkish Cheney (the VP is for torture, otherwise he wouldn't lobby for it), a defiant White House, and a clueless House of Representatives. After public disapproval and McCain's powerful case against the use of torture (the Senator was a POW for 5 years and he was tortured often) the White House has relented and NSA Stephen Hadley has apparently agreed to language in the bill that is almost entirely like McCain's bill. I figure that McCain's experience being tortured had a lot of weight (maybe if Cheney and Hadley had been tortured themselves they would have a different view... oh, that's right you have to serve in the military to possibly be captured during war.) in the White House's retreat. The House of Representatives also backed off from its opposition to the ban. Initially the House Armes Services Committee Chairman Duncan hunter claimed that there were already laws banning torture. After wide public support for McCain's bill, both the White House and the House of Representatives caved under pressure. Interestingly enough, this entire episode is more indicative of Cheney's declining power in capitol hill than it is of McCain's standing in Washington.

Congress near deal on bill that bans torture

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