INHOFE’S EXCUSE

Here’s Senator Inhofe’s explanation of his vote to keep torture as an option for the U.S. military:

I understand your concerns and I want to make it unequivocally clear that I do not condone torture. I believe that torture is abhorrent, inexcusable, and unbecoming of a great nation such as ours. Furthermore, torturing captured enemy combatants has proven to produce intelligence that is unreliable. I believe that our soldiers should have the highest standards reasonably allowed and uphold the values that we all, as Americans, share. If any soldier does not measure up to these standards, they should be dismissed from service and anybody who tortures captives should be fully prosecuted.

I voted against Senator McCain’s amendment to the FY 2006 Department of Defense Appropriations because I believe that the amendment is a mistake. Senator McCain’s amendment would put into code our interrogation tactics. We learned from Al-Qaeda training manuals, that Al-Qaeda had learned about our interrogation tactics and were training their terrorists about how to defeat them. This makes the interrogator’s job of obtaining useful and reliable intelligence from captured terrorists much more difficult because the greatest aid to an interrogator is the fear of the unknown. This is why I believe that we should keep our interrogation tactics classified so that other groups are not able to copy what Al-Qaeda did.

Er, Senator, the Army Field Manual 34 – 52, which McCain wants to codify in law, is already public. The amendment only makes clear what is already banned and in the public domain. Nothing classified is revealed. The amendment would allow the Pentagon to improvise within these clear guidelines, and the DoD could also classify certain sections if it wanted to. But, yes, enemy combatants would know that the U.S. won’t abuse, degrade or torture them if captured. They would know that America is better than Saddam or any other Arab dictatorship. Does Inhofe have a problem with that?

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