John McCain made a bold statement this weekend when he admitted to Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer that the US indeed did violate the Geneva Conventions when it employed waterboarding (and other interrogation tactics) under George W. Bush's administration. This is a sitting—ranking!—member of the US Senate acknowledging that the US broke international law, which is further than any other Republican has gone on the subject.
So will McCain support the investigation and prosecution of those who authorized these tactics? So far, no. But this passage in his response to Schieffer is telling (emphasis added:
SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN: The-- the allegations are that they gave the wrong counsel that's and—- and that bad things were done. And we violated fundamental commitments that the United States of America made when we signed the Geneva Conventions. And we disregarded what might happen to Americans who are held captive in the future. And by the way, those who say our enemies won't abide the Geneva Conventions they will if they know there's going to retribution for their violation of it.
How do we now set the standard for retribution McCain cites a s a deterrent? Can we live up to our own hype?