When presented with an opportunity to a choose between voting to extend the Army field manual's prohibition on torture to the CIA and pandering to the right wing of his party, John McCain chose pandering over his principles.
[Note McCain in a Republican presidential debate on Nov. 28, 1007]
McCain said that the Army Field Manual should be the gold standard for interrogations: I would hope that we would understand, my friends, that life is not 24 and Jack Bauer. Life is interrogation techniques which are humane and yet effective. And I just came back from visiting a prison in Iraq. The army general there said that techniques under the Army Field Manual are working and working effectively, and he didn’t think they need to do anything else. My friends, this is what America is all about.
[Now comes the defining vote]- "I made it very clear that I think that water-boarding is torture and illegal, but I will not restrict the CIA to only the Army field manual," and with that McCain votes against torture restrictions and flips on the issue.
Now just as a side note. I've had a great deal of respect with John McCain in the past. Not saying I agree with him on many issues, but I have generally believed him to be an individual of high integrity. That said I find this issue, which he has for so long professed to be a high principal of his, to have vanished so quickly. Perhaps this is just the first of many flip-flops.