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September 26, 2008

First presidential debate touches on torture

John McCain and Barack Obama argued over foreign policy and the economy during tonight's first presidential debate. You can read a transcript here and watch the first part on CNN.

Torture came up briefly towards the end. (Update: Below are full quotes from the transcript)

McCain: "And we've got to -- to make sure that we have people who are trained interrogators so that we don't ever torture a prisoner ever again."

Obama: "But because of some of the mistakes that have been made -- and I give Senator McCain great credit on the torture issue, for having identified that as something that undermines our long-term security -- because of those things, we, I think, are going to have a lot of work to do in the next administration to restore that sense that America is that shining beacon on a hill."

A recent poll released by Mercer University found that 57 percent of Southern Baptists said torture can be often or sometimes justified to gain important information from suspected terrorists. Thirty-eight percent said it was never or rarely justified.

David Gushee previously wrote a piece for CT on torture, and the magazine has a special section on the issue.


"And we've got to -- to make sure that we have people who are trained interrogators so that we don't ever torture a prisoner ever again." Full Quote from McCain. Notice that he admitted that he felt we indeed tortured.

Please use complete quotes when relevant. Thanks

Obama was the clear winner in instant poll results.

CBS polled 500 undecided voters

40% said Obama won
22% said McCain won
38% said it was a tie


CNN's instant poll of 524 voters had Obama winning 51% to 38%.

MediaCurves had a focus group of Independent voters

61% said Obama won, 39% McCain won


The Luntz and GQR focus groups also said Obama won.

Just wait until the Biden/Palin debate. Palin cannot even answer simple question by Katie Couric

I'm glad McCain mentioned torture. I have heard our government defend torture. That's immoral. I have heard the average American defend torture. That's acceptance of propaganda. I've heard Christians defend torture. That's treasonous to the Kingdom of God.

Then that settles it. We're number one! Woo hoo!

I think McCain would be a great Sec. of Defense.
Obama would be a very good Senator from Illinois. :)
I thought both were pretty horrible on the first
set of questions about the economy. I suppose
they had not had enough time to prepare on the
mess of the last few weeks.

I want someone to Factcheck Sen. McCain's closing statement: MCCAIN: Jim, when I came home from prison, I saw our veterans being very badly treated, and it made me sad. And I embarked on an effort to resolve the POW-MIA issue, which we did in a bipartisan fashion, and then I worked on normalization of relations between our two countries so that our veterans could come all the way home.

What did Sen. McCain do, or not do, to resolve the POW and MIA issues?

The Ole Miss Presidential debate on September 26, 2008, showed that the Obama Campaign appears to be giving Senator McCain a pass on his vote against the Torture ban in H.R. 2082 later vetoed by President Bush. McCain’s vote befuddled me because he has been such an outspoken critic of the use of torture by Americans. Then I found McCain's explanation of his vote in the following link. There is another article containing similar information in a San Francisco Chronicle article if you want to double check the veracity of this one. This link contains a link to the Senate roll call vote McCain and all but 4 other Republicans cast against the torture ban. House Republicans supported the Bush veto preventing an override.


McCain's reasoning is virtually identical to President Bush's reason for the veto in his Saturday morning March 8, 2008, radio talk immediately after the veto. You can read Bush's reason in the following link and notice that McCain adopted the Bush reasoning for justification of torture by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. Whatever their words, their votes and veto permit interrogation techniques outside the restrictions of the Geneva Convention and the Army Field Manual. In other words, torture is now permitted thanks to the votes of the Republican minority in congress and the Bush veto of restrictions formerly lauded and proposed by Senator McCain. What a disappointing disconnect between speeches and voting.

I guess McCain has indeed morphed from the 2004 Republican maverick into a Bush clone.


McCain vs Obama - what a horrific choice for Christians!
What a future for America! What a future for the world!
McCain - "Blessed be the Warmakers and Torturers, for they shall succeed in obtaining the Kingdom of Oil where the oilistic Bush family failed!" - and Obama - professional [aborting] "liberal" politician par excellence, two pols and their VP choices which are committed to violently racist anti-Christian Edomite-Khazar "Israel" over and above any "loyalty" to the US.
Where US pols support torture they completely betray their own men and women in uniform by setting a standard for the other side. They incur the disgust of Europe and civilised people everywhere. They stir up even more hatred against the US..

Huck, Now that was a funny post: "the Kingdom of Oil where the oilistic Bush family failed". Oh wait ... you're serious. I'm a little surprised you didn't mention Halliburton and the 9/11 Conspiracy.

Clarification: the Mercer University poll in question did not poll Southern Baptists in particular but white southerners who self-identified as "evangelical or born-again." The polling sample was not divided by denomination.