It just goes to show how pervasive and effective nasty false narratives pushed out during presidential campaigns are when a frequent guest military analyst, Thomas McInerney, called Sen. John McCain “Songbird McCain” a decade later.
But McInerney thought using the garbage slam appropriate while discussing the senator’s opposition to Gina Haspel as CIA director on Fox Business Network Thursday.
— Leanne Naramore (@LeanneNaramore) May 10, 2018
“Well, she can’t use it [torture] anymore because we have determined in Congress that it’s not legal. The fact is, is John McCain, it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John,” McInerney said.
Except this story that John McCain ever gave up truthful confessions has long been debunked after it was pushed out by a veterans group that opposed John McCain’s nomination during the 2008 primaries.
In fact, McCain’s own accounts give plenty of reasons for why he would be against such techniques seeing as how the “confessions” he gave were deliberately inaccurate.
In his memoir Faith of My Fathers, McCain says that he initially offered the information because he was badly injured and afraid of dying. But, he wrote, “I didn’t intend to keep my word.”
When he was later interrogated, McCain gave his ship’s name and squadron number and confirmed the target of his failed mission, he wrote. He also gave the names of the Green Bay Packers’ offensive line and said they were members of his squadron.
Asked to identify future targets, he mentioned North Vietnamese cities that U.S. planes had already bombed.
At one point, McCain broke down and signed a confession. But Timberg, the biographer, said McCain deliberately used misspellings, grammatical errors and Communist jargon to show he was writing under duress: “I am a black criminal and I have performed the deeds of an air pirate. I almost died, and the Vietnamese people saved my life . . . “
How one can say torture worked on John McCain when by all accounts he never gave any useful information is beyond comprehension.
Gina Haspel is allowed personal opinions on torture, as is John McCain, but repeating the nasty epithet of “Songbird McCain” and thereby alluding to inaccurate stories of his confessions in an attempt to justify the use of torture is shameful.