Washington, DC - Just days after John McCain said in a nationally televised speech that he would not offer a third Bush term, the New York Times today reveals that he reversed himself to pander to the right wing of his Party by adopting yet another Bush policy.
According to the Times, legal specialists say the McCain campaign recently outlined a new policy on "surveillance and executive power" that "contrasted with statements Mr. McCain previously made about the limits of presidential power." This follows McCain's decision in February to reverse himself on detainee torture by voting against efforts to prevent the CIA from using waterboarding and other interrogation tactics not approved in the Army Field Manual on Interrogation. As the report notes, both changes come "as Mr. McCain has worked to consolidate his party's base," and have moved McCain closer in line with President Bush's posture.
The following are excerpts from the article:
Adviser Says McCain Backs Bush Wiretaps
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
New York Times
Published: June 6, 2008
"Although a spokesman for Mr. McCain, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, denied that the senator's views on surveillance and executive power had shifted, legal specialists said the letter contrasted with statements Mr. McCain previously made about the limits of presidential power. In an interview about his views on the limits of executive power with The Boston Globe six months ago, Mr. McCain strongly suggested that if he became the next commander in chief, he would consider himself obligated to obey a statute restricting what he did in national security matters…
"David Golove, a New York University law professor who specializes in executive power issues, said that while the language used by Mr. McCain in his answers six months ago was imprecise, the recent statement by Mr. Holtz-Eakin "seems to contradict precisely what he said earlier."
"…Mr. McCain has long distanced himself from the Bush administration on legal issues involving detention and interrogation in the fight against terrorism, an approach that has sometimes aroused suspicion among conservative supporters of the Bush administration. But more recently, as Mr. McCain has worked to consolidate his party's base, he has taken several positions that have won him praise from his former critics while drawing fire from Democrats. In February, for example, Mr. McCain voted against limiting the Central Intelligence Agency to the techniques approved in the Army Field Manual on Interrogation, which complies with the Geneva Conventions. Mr. McCain said the C.I.A. needed the flexibility to use other techniques so long as it did not abuse detainees."
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