Former Fox News military analyst Thomas McInerney, a retired Air Force Lt. General, defended the use of torture after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) urged the Senate to reject Trump CIA nominee Gina Haspel over her past involvement in the torture program, saying that torture “worked on” McCain, whom he referred to as “Songbird John.”
“Sen. John McCain said he’s not going to endorse Haspel also in part because she believes in torture, that she thinks it works, even though she laid out at least three instances where it did work to the benefit of humankind, not just Americans, but all human beings,” McInerney said on the network.
— Leanne Naramore (@LeanneNaramore) May 10, 2018
Haspel has been criticized for her work at a CIA black site prison tied to an enhanced interrogation program, or torture, during the George W. Bush administration.
Fox Business host Charles Payne asked McInerney whether Congress should evaluate Haspel on her feelings or on her verbal commitment to avoiding enhanced interrogation programs.
“Well, she can’t use it [torture] anymore because we have determined in Congress that it’s not legal. The fact is, is John McCain, it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John,'” McInerney said.
“The fact is those methods can work, and they are effective, as former Vice President Cheney said. And if we have to use them to save a million American lives, we will do whatever we have to,” he continued.
I regret I did not catch this remark, as it should have been challenged. As a proud military veteran and son of a Vietnam Vet these words neither reflect my or the network’s feelings about Senator McCain, or his remarkable service and sacrifice to this country.”
Charles V. Payne
— Charles V Payne (@cvpayne) May 10, 2018
Payne issued an apology to McCain on Thursday afternoon, saying he “did not catch” McInerney’s “very false and derogatory remark” but that his comments should have been challenged.
“As a proud military veteran and son of a Vietnam Vet these words neither reflect my or the network’s feelings about Senator McCain, or his remarkable service and sacrifice to this country,” Payne wrote.