Fox Business Guest Says Torture Worked on McCain: ‘That’s Why They Call Him Songbird John’
Thomas McInerney, a military analyst, said on Fox Business Network that torture “worked” on Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), while defending the U.S. enhanced interrogation program.
Fox Business Network host Charles Payne asked McInerney, a former Vice Chief of Staff of the U.S. Air Force, for his take on McCain’s opposition to Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee for CIA Director.
McCain said on Wednesday, after Haspel’s hearing with the Senate Intelligence Committee, that “her role in overseeing the use of torture is disturbing,” adding “her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying.”
“Should they be evaluating this nominee on her feelings, or based strictly on the facts and her commitment not to use it anymore because it’s no longer legal for us?” Payne asked McInerney on FBN.
“Well she can’t use it anymore because we have determined in Congress that it’s not legal,” McInerney said. “The fact is John McCain — it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John.’ The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said. And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to.”
McCain spent five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, where he was brutally tortured, and left with permanent injuries.
Haspel, meanwhile, oversaw a “black site” in Thailand after the 9/11 attacks where terror suspects were tortured in accordance with the enhanced interrogation program, which has since been ended. A Senate Intelligence Committee report concluded that the CIA’s methods amounted to torture, and included waterboarding, beating, forced confinement for extended periods of time, forced standing and nudity.
Watch above, via FBN.
UPDATE: Payne issued a statement via Twitter apologizing to McCain and his family and explaining that he “had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment” and “did not hear the comment.”
I regret I did not catch this remark, as it should have been challenged. As a proud military veteran and son of a Vietnam Vet these words neither reflect my or the network’s feelings about Senator McCain, or his remarkable service and sacrifice to this country.”
Charles V. Payne
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) May 10, 2018
Correction: A previous version of this post identified McInerney as a Fox News military analyst. McInerney is no longer an analyst for the network, and appeared on FBN as a guest.
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