Arizona Senator John McCain is making the White House’s push to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director a little more difficult.
McCain, who is currently fighting brain cancer in Arizona, said in a statement this Wednesday that he hopes his colleagues in the Senate will vote against Haspel’s nomination, due to her role in the Bush-era CIA interrogation program.
McCain’s words hold a lot of weight on the issue of torture. As his fellow Republican from Arizona Jeff Flake said, McCain is “a preeminent voice on speaking out against torture.”
“The laws that we now have, we used the Army field manual as a guide — that was his bill,” Flake said according to CNN. “He was the main motivation behind that, so his voice matters here. I’m glad that he’s spoken up.”
While the moral question surrounding torture creates an issue for Republicans, there are still plenty, both politicians and pundits, who still advocate for its use as a tool to gain information from the enemy. According to Fox News military analyst Thomas McInerney, the proof of torture’s effectives lies with John McCain himself.
During an appearance on the Fox Business channel’s Varney & Co., McInerney was asked by host Charles Payne about the effectiveness of the tactic.
“Senator John McCain, he’s not going to endorse Haspel also in part because she believes in torture, that she thinks it works even though she laid out at least three instances where it did work to the benefit of humankind, not just Americans, but all human beings,” Payne said. “Should they be evaluating this nominee on her feelings, or based strictly on the facts and her commitment not to use it anymore because it’s no longer legal for us?”
“Well she can’t use it anymore because we have determined in Congress that it’s not legal,” McInerney replied.
“The fact is, is John McCain — it worked on John,” he continued. “That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John.’ The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said. And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to.”
Watch the video below:
Update: Fox Business host Charles Payne has issued an apology to Senator McCain and his family via Twitter, saying that he failed to catch McInerney’s remarks and should have “challenged” them.
“This morning on a show I was hosting, a guest made a very false and derogatory remark about Senator John McCain. At the time, I had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment, and did not hear the comment,” Payne said in a series of tweets.
“I regret I did not catch this remark, as it should have been challenged,” he continued. “As a proud military veteran and son of a Vietnam Vet these words neither reflect my or the network’s feelings about Senator McCain, or his remarkable service and sacrifice to this country.”
Featured image via screen grab/YouTube