This is old news, but unfortunately is still relevant:
“There should be little doubt from American history that we consider [waterboarding] as torture, otherwise we wouldn’t have tried and convicted Japanese for doing that same thing to Americans. I would also hope that he would not want to be associated with a technique which was invented in the Spanish Inquisition, was used by Pol Pot in one of the great eras of genocide in history and is being used on Burmese monks as we speak. America is a better nation than that.” -Senator John McCain
Even older is McCain’s Newsweek editorial from 2005, which is truly worth the few minutes it takes to read. He very accurately puts the whole issue in a nutshell:
I don’t mourn the loss of any terrorist’s life. Nor do I care if in the course of serving their ignoble cause they suffer great harm. They have pledged their lives to the intentional destruction of innocent lives, and they have earned their terrible punishment in this life and the next. What I do mourn is what we lose when by official policy or official neglect we allow, confuse or encourage our soldiers to forget that best sense of ourselves, that which is our greatest strength–that we are different and better than our enemies, that we fight for an idea, not a tribe, not a land, not a king, not a twisted interpretation of an ancient religion, but for an idea that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights.
Now, in this war, our liberal notions are put to the test. Americans of good will, all patriots, argue about what is appropriate and necessary to combat this unconventional enemy. Those of us who feel that in this war, as in past wars, Americans should not compromise our values must answer those Americans who believe that a less rigorous application of those values is regrettably necessary to prevail over a uniquely abhorrent and dangerous enemy.
It’s just too bad that these words have now gone unheeded for years. Time is running out – statutes of limitations will go into effect next year for some of the crimes committed – we must act soon to assert that which sets us apart from our enemies.