As a former prisoner of war who experienced
A number of his fellow-Republicans have expressed outrage over the report’s release. Florida Sen.
But McCain's feelings were not mixed. The Arizonan has a moral clarity on the issue, forged during five years of harsh captivity in the notorious Hanoi Hilton. And, because of that personal experience, he said he is convinced, not only that "the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence," but that it is a betrayal of national values.
The report presents evidence that, in the wake of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the CIA was empowered to use extreme methods when questioning
CIA officials and former Vice President
The Senate GOP caucus leader,
"The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow," McCain said. "It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless."
In China and Russia there is a lot of gloating going on right now. The not-so-free media in those countries are saying the report confirms the U.S. government's stark hypocrisy. Lecturing the world on human rights while secretly running torture prisons around the world makes Americans no better than anyone else, they say.
But what makes the United States better than China and Russia, at least, is that, unlike the secretive and ruthless systems governing those countries, the American constitutional system allows investigation of moral failures, exposure of bad policies and rebuke of leaders who betray high principles. It's not comfortable having flaws exposed for all to see and enemies of the U.S. will try to use the revelations against us. But discerning people around the world will admire our willingness to admit wrongdoing and will wish they had governments as open to reform.