Andrew Sullivan asks and answers a brilliant question today, “Does Bush believe McCain was tortured?” Well, no.
In all the discussion of John McCain’s recently recovered memory of a religious epiphany in Vietnam, one thing has been missing. The torture that was deployed against McCain emerges in all the various accounts. It involved sleep deprivation, the withholding of medical treatment, stress positions, long-time standing, and beating. Sound familiar?
According to the Bush administration’s definition of torture, McCain was therefore not tortured.
Now the kicker: in the Military Commissions Act, McCain acquiesced to the use of these techniques against terror suspects by the CIA. And so the tortured became the enabler of torture. Someone somewhere cried out in pain for the same reasons McCain once did. And McCain let it continue.
These are the prices people pay for power.
So, not only does Bush not think McCain was tortured, McCain voted to allow the same ‘not torture’ that was done to him to be legal when done to others.