December 9th, 2007
06:31 AM ET
15 years ago

McCain on CIA tapes

McCain discusses CIA tapes on Saturday.

NASHUA, New Hampshire (CNN) ­

At his last stop of a six day New Hampshire tour, Sen. John McCain criticized the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for destroying interrogation videos of two Al Qaeda operatives and said the decision would further "erode" American's trust and confidence in Washington.

Calling the two operatives, "bad, bad people," the Arizona senator said the CIA's decision was against the recommendations from members of Congress and confirmed to enemies "that we engaged in interrogation techniques which are illegal."

"I welcome this inquiry and the CIA will cooperate fully," CIA Director Mike Hayden said in a statement. "I welcome it as an opportunity to address questions that have arisen over the destruction back in 2005 of videotapes."

According to reports by the New York Times, Hayden explained to employees that the tapes were destroyed to protect the identity of the interrogators.

McCain, a former prisoner of war, has vehemently opposed torture as a means of interrogation and intelligence gathering. He vowed that as President, he would "never torture another person in the custody of the United States."

–CNN New Hampshire Producer Sareena Dalla

Filed under: John McCain • New Hampshire
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Reggie , Anaheim, Ca.

    Cornhusker Ron and Former Army Officer
    said it all! Old man McCain should lobby for making MLK Jr Day in Arizona
    and resign.

    Tenet, Goss, Hayden all incompetent
    and self serving.

    December 9, 2007 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  2. Jaik , chicago, IL

    The only issue McCain is right on. He knows what torture is about after his own POW experience so he can relate. To bad he can't relate to unwanted pregnancies, if he had been through that perhaps he would be able to drop his opposition to abortion rights. This guy's had a shot before, he's a senator from here on.

    December 9, 2007 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. JFK, Phx, AZ

    For once I agree with McCain, this looks bad when we are trying to be the leader of the free world and humane treatment of prisoners. I agree that terrorists do not deserve special treatment in yet perception by others is just as important. The air of secrecy, prisons, torture make us look like more and more like a police state! This is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind. And if you think it’s unpatriotic to ask questions, then remember what if the people did not question the British rule in 1700s, or question the Communism trials in the 1950s? Leave anything unchecked for too long and absolute power will spin out of control. We have every right to question our government, their activities, and our where our tax dollars go to! That is Patriotism as much as going to fight a just war.

    From Alice Newman,

    "… and those cheering the CIA on as it tortures then lies, wonder why there are more terrorists than when we started this useless war… or maybe I'm giving them too much credit.

    The fact that the CIA destroyed the tapes proves that they knew they were outside the law … it’s not the crime but the cover-up that really gets your tail in a trap.

    Since all the pro-torture believers "know" water boarding is effective and not harmful … let's get to the truth and start with the head of the CIA -"

    GREAT COMMENTS ALICE! We are probably creating more terrorists with our foreign policy or lack there of! Anger and resentment to America will increase if the Roves, Cheneys, and dunderheads continue on the path we are on.

    December 9, 2007 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Eric, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Daniel, NY might be right about the primaries, but that's kind of unfortunate for the nation and the GOP, because head-to-head polls continue to show McCain as the most likely GOPer to beat the Dems. See realclearpolitics. McCain has the right attitude to actually manage consensus solutions on long term problems, and maintain strong diplomacy. He takes hits on immigration policy where the only difference from the slicker candidates is that he actually tried to do something besides tolerate the status quo. McCain hopes for peace, but is right about the consequences of premature withdrawal. He's also right about the environment and our need to cut pork.

    December 9, 2007 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. HH, Pittsburgh, PA

    Aaron Smithsburg, Maryland, I agree whole-heartedly. Do you really think Americans care? The American people lost their country years ago but they were too busy watching football to notice.

    December 10, 2007 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  6. HH, Pittsburgh, PA

    By sanctioning torture, America sinks to the level of her worst enemy.

    December 10, 2007 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  7. Greg, Burbank, CA

    McCain is out of touch..this is obstruction of justice and McCain should said so, and that people should go to jail even if it goes to Whitehouse. I respect his stance on torture, but, what ever happened to liberty AND JUSTICE FOR ALL?" Fairness and morality are no longer virtues of the system but rather extinct terms, except to describe the obvious lack of it. The notion that any human being could be detained for six years on an "assertion" by "the government" and not provided an adequate mechanism to challenge the assertion's merit in some sort of fact based way, is cruel and unusual, applying the simplest of America's standards espoused by our constitution's preamble ".... in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice....," and that all "people" regardless of sex, color, race, or creed are have equal protection under our law, period. Let Justice prevail!

    December 11, 2007 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
1 2