No, Ms. McCain, the CIA Isn’t Going to Start Decapitating Prisoners. [VIDEO]

No, Ms. McCain, the CIA Isn’t Going to Start Decapitating Prisoners. [VIDEO]

No, Ms. McCain, the CIA Isn’t Going to Start Decapitating Prisoners. [VIDEO]

On Thursday, our Toni sliced and diced a Rolling Stone writer who compared CIA agents to Al Qaeda psychopaths, and used that nonsense to oppose the confirmation of Gina Haspel as head of that agency.

But there’s no definitive answer to Haspel and the torture question until the gals from The View speak out, right?

Yes, I called them ‘gals.’ Deal with it.

Naturally all the gals cheered on Sen. Kamala “I’m Running in 2020” Harris in her grilling of Haspel.

Then they went to their go-to expert Meghan McCain, Sen. John McCain’s daughter. Now let’s be honest here — if she didn’t have a famous father, Ms. McCain wouldn’t have a national platform. Deal with that, too.

But anyway, just like Dad, Meghan McCain also opposes Gina Haspel’s confirmation. Because she knows all about torture, apparently:

“Life isn’t like the show ’24,’ where you just take a gun and blow someone’s kneecap off and get all the information you want. The point is the people break at a certain point and they give false information.”

Well, we know that Ms. McCain can tell us about Jack Bauer’s techniques since she saw them on TV. She must also think we knuckle-draggers believe that 24 is realistic, so she needs to lecture us to let us know that it’s fantasy.

However, she also seems to think that the CIA may be “psychotic” for waterboarding terrorists, and is seriously concerned that its agents might start decapitating prisoners.

I’m not kidding.

Look, Ms. McCain’s father may have been tortured some 50 years ago in North Vietnam, but that does not make her an expert on waterboarding. And she certainly is no expert on the CIA in the 21st century. My father flew on a B-17 bomber in World War II, but that doesn’t make me an expert on WWII aircraft, either.

But does waterboarding work? Actually, no one really knows. A British psychologist, writing in The Independent, doesn’t like waterboarding, but isn’t sure. I appreciate his honesty:

If President Trump were to ask me whether torture works, as a psychological scientist, I would have to say: “I don’t know.” However, I would have to point to the available science suggesting that it’s not be the best way of persuading information-holders to yield.

Frankly, I think it’s all rather like a baseball game. A pitcher might be able to get a batter to strike out with a series of particular pitches. However, he may have to use a different pitch strategy to get the next guy out. And then there are those batters he just can’t strike out. So maybe waterboarding works for some terrorists, and not for others.

But that’s just conjecture on my part. I really don’t know if torture, or waterboarding, is effective. However, certainly there are a lot of CIA insiders who know far better than me about the best ways to get information from prisoners. And they’re keeping it all within their shadowy world — as they should.

But I feel pretty sure that they’re not going to start cutting off heads. Meghan McCain insulted the patriots of the CIA for suggesting they would do such a thing. For that, she should apologize.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

15 Comments
  • Robin H says:

    If you are an enemy combatant with important information that will save lives, I’m sorry, but I want you hurt until you give up the information. Whether that’s physical or mental I don’t really care. What I hope is that the CIA is allowing this waterboarding stuff to stay out there because they have better (or worse, whichever way you want to look at it) ways of extracting information.

  • George says:

    The apple never falls far from the tree.

  • MrSatyre says:

    “psychological scientist” Is a contradiction in terms.

  • tokyov says:

    So did McCain oppose Brennan? He was more responsible for these policies that Haspel. Or are the McCains only opposed to Republicans/Trump nominees?

  • W. Cate says:

    She should apologize. And maybe lay off the Ho-Hos and Ding-Dongs for a while.

  • Oldhawker says:

    When someone is interrogated, with or without torture, none of what they tell is taken as “God’s (or allah’s) honest truth. It’s matched against what others have told the interrogators, against what interrogators already know as truth or lies, and against what the interrogators believe the subject can know, should know, and could not possibly know. Some give up real info right away (KSM, for example), others never give anything up. McCain’s comment on the fictional Jack Bauer is just another complaint against us “Deplorables”; we who cannot possibly know as much as she does because, well, we aren’t smart enough. Plain and simple.

  • Epador says:

    She continues to insult herself and has mainly herself to apologize to.

    Her father had some horrible experiences at the hands of wartime enemies, but that did not qualify him for anything but to tell his story. His history in politics speaks volumes. If anyone will listen.

  • Clean Willie says:

    I defy anyone to give me a definition of torture that encompasses waterboarding but is not so broad that you could include a lot of other things that no one has ever considered to be torture.

  • GWB says:

    Meghan is living her father’s fame vicariously. The fact her father was tortured gives her some insight into the matter. But it seems she’s stepping outside her expertise. Just like most people opining on the matter.

    Torture works – in very specific circumstances. Torture did NOT work for the North Vietnamese (against Americans) because 1) they were usually not interrogating “common soldiers” – it takes a good deal of mental and physical toughness, and individualism to become a fighter pilot, and 2) none of the people involved had any of the sorts of information that you might get from that kind of interrogation. So, they concentrated on things like forcing “propaganda victories” – which no one on our side generally believed – to support their communist indoctrination strategies.

    The primary reason we don’t torture is 1) we have a hard time justifying the infliction of specific harm except as a matter of justice, and 2) we try not to hold an individual responsible for their gov’t’s actions. #2 is why we’re less resistant to, say, the idea of torturing Khalid* than we are to the torture of some soldier off the battlefield. Khalid was directly involved in decision-making and had high-level knowledge of future actions.

    The idea that someone like the CIA will go too far is not really outrageous, nor new. We pay certain people to walk the edge of nastiness in order to prevent the greater tragedies of things like world wars and nuclear holocaust. But, in order to not become “just like them” we insist they not cross that line. Oversight is crucial.
    Too bad so many of our gov’t institutions have become so corrupted of late. It’s going to cause a great deal of trouble before we can straighten it out.

    (FYI, I’ve been mock-tortured – meaning put into situations causing pain and other effects to simulate torture. It’s not pleasant. Even in those conditions, it’s possible to induce the result of “I just want this to stop.” One thing we’re told is you *will* eventually break. And it’s ok, as long as you actually resisted and maintained your honor.)

    • GWB says:

      Forgot the *…
      * I’m not saying Khalid was tortured. I won’t absolutely state he was not. But most intelligent people have some inclination to “I don’t care what you call it” concerning that particular situation, given his position and the information he likely had.

  • Bandit says:

    Can Meghan McCain go away now that her father admitted to passing the Steele Dossier to the FBI? Who would have thought to contact him on the coup?

  • Rich D says:

    What a lot of people miss is that you torture or waterboard someone like KSM, take that info and just run with it. It’s just a component of your overall intel picture. You take that information and see what you can confirm from other sources, or it make give you other avenues to look at. No one takes the words of a single man and thinks they’re done.

  • mhjhnsn says:

    Sorry, but I have a hard time thinking of something (waterboarding) that frats used to use as an initiation ritual, and some reporters underwent voluntarily just to see what it was like, as “torture.” Almost by definition, if sane people do it voluntarily for transactional reasons, it may be unpleasant but it is NOT torture.

  • Fredrick Rehders says:

    Many of our Special Forces endured waterboarding, as part of their training and it has also been reported that pilots being sent into missile laden, hostile areas were also given the opportunity to experience the mind terrorizing effects of this thing called waterboarding, that liberals have made synonymous with TORTURE!

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