Straight Shootin' Hack

by digby

Just in case anyone still doubted whether John McCain was an unprincipled, slick Republican hack just like the rest of them, you can't find a better example than this:

Today, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) criticized to the Supreme Court’s ruling granting Guantanamo Bay detainees the right to challenge their detention in civilian courts:

It obviously concerns me. These are unlawful combatants. They are not American citizens. We should pay attention to Justice Roberts. It is a decision the Supreme Court has made and now we need to move forward. As you know, I always favored the closing of Guantanamo Bay, and I still think we ought to do that.

Closing Guantanamo never meant diddly. It's the human rights, stupid.

There is nobody in the country (except for some nutballs like Ted Sampley) who would attack McCain for taking the principled stand on issues of prisoners of war, habeas corpus and torture. He has more latitude than anyone to challenge this nonsense and put the country back on a moral course. He pretends to be "different" than the rest of them. But every time he has had the chance to do something substantive, whether legislatively or rhetorically, he's ended up aligning himself with the administration.

Courtesy of Think Progress:

– In 2004, the Supreme Court ruled in Rasul v. Bush that the Bush administration had no jurisdiction to strip habeas corpus rights from detainees. In 2005, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) introduced legislation overturning this decision and thus stripping detainees of their rights. McCain voted for the bill, which passed 49-42.

– The Military Commissions Act of 2006 denied anyone Bush labeled “an ‘illegal enemy combatant’ the ancient right to challenge his imprisonment in court.” McCain weakly pushed to strengthen the torture restrictions in the legislation, but ignored the lack of habeas rights. In the end, he voted for the Military Commissions Act.

– In 2007, Senate conservatives successfully filibustered legislation that would have “given military detainees the right to protest their detention in federal court.” In a 56-43 vote, the chamber fell just four shy of the 60 needed to cut off debate and proceed with the bill. McCain was part of the conservative filibuster and voted against moving forward with the legislation.

Today, the McCain campaign blog also approvingly cited Justice Antonin Scalia’s exceptionally extreme rhetoric on the consequences of the decision.

He also recently voted against making the entire government follow the Army Field manual, effectively making it legal for the CIA to torture.

He is actually our worst enemy on these issues, because his own story leads people to believe he will do the "right" thing. But on this, as with 99% of the rest of the standard GOP agenda, he's right there holding hands and singing along with the president.