Opposing Torture Hurts McCain in 2008? (That’s Sick.)

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One thing that changed after 9/11 is this: we now live in a twilight zone where it’s possible that a senator, John McCain, in expressing qualms at the Bush administration’s determination to interpret the Geneva conventions at whim, can be seen as hurting his own presidential prospects. See this Washington Post piece, titled, “McCain’s Stand On Detainees May Pose Risk For 2008 Bid.”

The Geneva Conventions say wartime detainees must be “treated humanely.” Bush says the United States complies so long as CIA interrogators abide by a 2005 law barring “cruel, inhuman, or degrading” treatment of captives. McCain and his allies say that the requirement is too narrow, and that they are concerned Bush’s approach would invite other nations to interpret the conventions in lax ways that could lead to abusive treatment of captive U.S. troops.

A Republican strategist tells the Post, “The politics of this for [McCain] are pretty dangerous. This is an issue that’s the most important issue to the Republican base overall, and they’re strongly with the president on this.”

All of which goes to show that whatever changed after 9/11, very little has changed–at least not for the better–since Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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