In federal court yesterday and in legal filings, Justice Department lawyers contended that a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, cannot use legislation drafted by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to challenge treatment that the detainee’s lawyers described as “systematic torture.”
….”Unfortunately, I think the government’s right; it’s a correct reading of the law,” said Tom Malinowski, Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. “The law says you can’t torture detainees at Guantanamo, but it also says you can’t enforce that law in the courts.”
I have a lot of reasons for wishing that liberals would stop falling for McCain’s “straight talk” schtick, and this is one of them: even on the issues where he’s one of the good guys, he caves in too often to have much of an impact. His ambition to be president is palpable in everything he does, and it’s what’s responsible for his routine compromises on issues he supposedly considers matters of honor, his cozying up to George Bush whenever it’s politically convenient, and his bizarre recent temper tantrum against Barack Obama. He’s certainly mastered the art of sounding reasonable, but it’s only an inch deep. Underneath, he’s just a standard issue right wing politician. Caveat emptor.