Petraeus: Congress should consider "special interrogation" techniques for "emergencies"
Trial balloon for the Obama administation? Petraeus's own agenda?
Or just watching too many "24" episodes? "Ticking time bomb" works how under the Geneva Conventions?
Gen. David H. Petraeus, President Obama's choice to be the next director of the Central Intelligence Agency, told senators Thursday that the U.S. should consider a policy for using special interrogation techniques when a detainee is withholding information that is immediately needed to save lives.
In the vast majority of cases, Petraeus said, the "humane" questioning standards mandated by the U.S. Army Field Manual are sufficient to persuade detainees to talk. But though he did not use the word torture, Petraeus said "there should be discussion … by policymakers and by Congress" about something "more than the normal techniques."
Petraeus, speaking at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee, described an example of a detainee who knows how to disarm a nuclear device set to explode under the Empire State Building. Congress may want to give the president the option of taking extraordinary measures to extract that information, he said.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) endorsed the idea.
"I look forward to working with you on this ticking time bomb scenario," said McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. "I think the person responsible should be the president of the United States. … I do agree with you." (My emphais)
Note that McCain is willing to enshrine even more powers to the executive.