Last night on the O’Reilly Factor, former New York Senator Al D’Amato (R) and Bill O’Reilly debated Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) insistence that the U.S. follow the Geneva Conventions in its treatment of all detainees. D’Amato said McCain should receive “a pass on this” because he was “so traumatized by the events that took place” during his captivity in the Vietnam War. The trauma, D’Amato argued, put McCain in such a mental state that he was not in “a position to consider the impact of what his restrictions would do.” Watch it:
Despite the right-wing’s attempts to smear him, McCain has maintained a position that is guided by his personal experience and knowledge of torture. Here’s what he told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer when asked recently why he was arguing for the Geneva Conventions even though his captors tortured him.
BLITZER: When you were a POW in Vietnam, you weren’t accorded the Geneva Conventions. You were brutally treated and tortured.
MCCAIN: But later on in our captivity the Vietnamese changed our treatment rather dramatically. There was also an American that was captured in Somalia not that long ago where he was being mistreated, and we insisted he be treated according to the Geneva Conventions Common Article 3 and he was. And he was later released. We have the moral high ground because we adhere to the Geneva Conventions. And we’re not like these other countries, and we understand that al Qaeda would never observe it. But many of us are afraid there will be additional wars in the history of the United States.
O’REILLY: I’m saying to you, Senator McCain, the north Vietnamese were signatories to the Geneva Convention. OK? They broke your leg. They brutalized you and all of the other POWs at the Hanoi Hilton. They didn’t give a fig about the Geneva Convention. So how can you possibly put up an ideal that if we bend over backwards for terrorists, not soldiers, terrorists, that we’re going to get anything back? It doesn’t make any sense. I’ll give you the last word, senator.
D’AMATO: Well, Bill, I give John McCain a pass on this only because I think he was so traumatized by the events that took place, that he doesn’t even really want to or is in a position to consider the impact of what his restrictions would do. And they are not going to make us look any morally better.
O’REILLY: No, they’re not.
D’AMATO: …or have our troops or our citizens treated any better.
O’REILLY: The American haters are still going to hate us.