By helping to defeat President Bush's proposed legislation establishing procedures to interrogate and try terrorist detainees, dissident Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsay Graham and John Warner have bestowed a great gift on both the President's political adversaries and, much worse, on America's terrorist enemies.Read it all.
Certainly, despite their misguided judgments on the legislation at hand, all three Republicans do understand that America is, in fact, fighting a war, and that defeating the terrorists must be our top priority. That distinguishes them from most Democrats, who simply don't understand the stakes...
Even so, by helping to defeat the President's legislation in the Armed Services Committee, Senators McCain, Graham and Warner have facilitated Democrats' efforts to portray President Bush's approach to interrogating and trying terrorists as somehow out of the mainstream. They've likewise allowed the Democrats to blur the very real distinctions between the parties when it comes to fighting the war on terror - giving them a valuable opportunity to pretend that their unwillingness to confront Islamofascist terrorism is nothing more than a reflection of the same scruples voiced by McCain, Graham and Warner.
But the political benefit to the Democrats is dwarfed by the boon the McCain/Graham/Warner approach bestows on America's enemies. By offering terrorists the same status as that accorded uniformed military warriors, the legislation favored by the trio only rewards warfare that glorifies the deliberate killing of innocents and undermines a distinction between terrorist and soldier that should be cherished by all civilized people.
Update: Pat Hynes links to John McCain's op/ed on the subject, and Pat's fellow ABP blogger, Bulldog Pundit, weighs in, too.
Update II: Confederate Yankee has shocking pictures of some types of torture that Senators McCain, Warner and Graham oppose.