Retired Air Force General: Torture worked on 'Songbird John' McCain

Matt Saintsing
May 10, 2018 - 3:49 pm

photo credit: White House Office photo.


A retired Air Force Lt. Gen. referred to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) as “Songbird John,” and claimed that torture worked on the Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war (POW), who is also battling brain cancer.

Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney was interviewed on Fox Business Network and blasted McCain’s refusal to support Gina Haspel, Trump’s nominee to head the CIA, over her past work at the agency that involved “enhanced interrogation” techniques, also known as torture.

“They fact is, John McCain—it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John,’” McInerney said of the former Vietnam POW.

“The fact is, those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said. And if we have to sue them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to,” he added.

McInerney was once the U.S. Air Force’s vice chief of staff, where he led the organization and administration of the service’s airmen.

His comments come a day after McCain rejected Haspel’s nomination in a blistering statement, citing her inability to own up to past roles in the use of harsh interrogation tactics tantamount to torture, during her time at a CIA secret prison, also known as a “black site,” in Thailand during George W. Bush’s administration.

“I understand the urgency that drove the decision to resort to so-called enhanced interrogation methods after our country was attacked,” McCain said.

"I believe Gina Haspel is a patriot who loves our country and has devoted her professional life to its service and defense," the statement continues.

"Her refusal to acknowledge torture’s immorality is disqualifying," he added. "I believe the Senate should exercise its duty of advice and consent and reject this nomination.”

McCain is a former naval aviator who spent more than five years in prison after being shot down in North Vietnam in 1967.

He has been a boisterous critic of torture after experiencing it firsthand as a POW before his release in 1973. The statement was issued from his home in Arizona where he is being treated for brain cancer.