McCain On Torture

The Long March
Senator John McCain (R-AZ) questions former FBI Director, James Comey as he appeared before the Senate Intelligence Committee in the Hart Office Building on Thursday June 08, 2017 in Washington, DC.
The Washington Post via Getty Images/Matt McClain

There are so many disappointing things about American politics today that it is good to point out the opposite. John McCain, with little to lose or gain from the effort, maintains his principled stand against U.S. personnel using torture.


McCain (front right) with his squadron and T-2 Buckeye trainer, 1965.Wikimedia Commons

He also gains moral standing from the fact that he himself was tortured. Here’s a snippet from McCain's November 2017 remarks explaining his vote against Steven Bradbury as general counsel for the Department of Transportation:

“I have long said that I understand the reasons that governed the decision to approve these interrogation methods, and I know that those who approved them and those who employed them in the interrogation of captured terrorists were dedicated to protecting the American people from harm. I know they were determined to keep faith with the victims of terrorism and prove to our enemies that the United States would pursue justice relentlessly and successfully, no matter how long it took. I know their responsibilities were grave and urgent, and the strain of their duty was considerable. I admire their dedication and love of country. But I argued then, and I argue now, that it was wrong to use these methods, that it undermined our security interests, and that it contradicted the ideals that define us and which we have sacrificed much to defend.”

Read McCain’s full remarks here »

US Marine Corps

The Marine lieutenant colonel who was removed from command of 1st Reconnaissance Battalion in May is accused of lying to investigators looking into allegations of misconduct, according to a copy of his charge sheet provided to Task & Purpose on Monday.

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Editor's Note: This article by Oriana Pawlyk originally appeared on Military.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

On April 14, 2018, two B-1B Lancer bombers fired off payloads of Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles against weapons storage plants in western Syria, part of a shock-and-awe response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons against his citizens that also included strikes from Navy destroyers and submarines.

In all, the two bombers fired 19 JASSMs, successfully eliminating their targets. But the moment would ultimately be one of the last — and certainly most publicized — strategic strikes for the aircraft before operations began to wind down for the entire fleet.

A few months after the Syria strike, Air Force Global Strike Command commander Gen. Tim Ray called the bombers back home. Ray had crunched the data, and determined the non-nuclear B-1 was pushing its capabilities limit. Between 2006 and 2016, the B-1 was the sole bomber tasked continuously in the Middle East. The assignment was spread over three Lancer squadrons that spent one year at home, then six month deployed — back and forth for a decade.

The constant deployments broke the B-1 fleet. It's no longer a question of if, but when the Air Force and Congress will send the aircraft to the Boneyard. But Air Force officials are still arguing the B-1 has value to offer, especially since it's all the service really has until newer bombers hit the flight line in the mid-2020s.

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