As John noted earlier, the administration has made a deal with the terrorist rights wing of the Republican party — Senators McCain, Graham, and Warner — on detainee treatment. Having listened to portions of Steven Hadley’s news conference and checked out Byron York’s posts at the NRO Corner, my sense is that this is not a bad deal under the circumstances. Unfortunately, the circumstances weren’t very good.
Rather than speculate further about a deal the contours of which are not that clear to me, I’ll just recall the wise words of two columns I saw earlier in the day. First, from Thomas Sowell:
[T]he clash between Mr. McCain, et al., and the president of the United States is more than just another political clash. It is part of a far more general, and ultimately suicidal, confusion and hand-wringing in the face of mortal dangers. . .
The much larger question — the question of survival — is whether we have the clarity and the courage to go all-out in self-defense against those who are going all-out to destroy us, even at the cost of their own lives. There are too many signs we do not, and those signs are visible not only in our political and judicial institutions but throughout American society and Western civilization.
Sheltered for years from terrorist dangers we so much feared after the September 11, 2001. . .many have come to act as if the dangers do not exist and we have the luxury of dismantling the means by which they have been held at bay this long.
And this from Jed Babbin:
That Sen. John McCain is willing to stake his presidential ambitions on the battle to legislate the interrogation of terrorist prisoners is a testament to his courage. And it should cost him the White House.