Retired General Tells Fox Business That Torture ‘Worked’ On McCain: ‘Why They Call Him Songbird John’

Retired General Tells Fox Business That Torture ‘Worked’ On McCain: ‘Why They Call Him Songbird John’

In the wake of CIA Director nominee Gina Haspel’s confirmation hearing in which she was grilled for overseeing a secret prison that tortured terror suspects, some conservatives — like ex-VP Dick Cheney — have come out of the woodwork to not only defend the use of torture but to advocate for its return. Meanwhile, former POW Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has called on his colleagues to reject Haspel’s nomination due to involvement with torture.

Appearing on Fox Business’s Varney and Co. Thursday morning, Ret. Lt. General Thomas McInerney took the Cheney approach of cheerleading the use of torture in interrogations. And he used McCain as an example of torture working!

“Sen. John McCain, 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,” guest host Charles Payne stated. “Should they be evaluating this nominee on her feelings, or based strictly on the facts and her commitment not to use it anymore because it’s no longer legal for us?”

McInerney, who last year told Sean Hannity that a nuclear strike on the Korean peninsula wouldn’t be so bad because “mostly North Koreans” would die, bemoaned the fact that torture was made illegal by Congress. He then said this:

“The fact is, is John McCain — it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John.’ 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.”

For the record, this is a long-debunked talking point spread by McCain’s detractors. There is no real evidence that McCain collaborated with the North Vietnamese or gave usable information when tortured during his time as a prisoner of war.

Then again, McInerney is also a birther who believes Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 was hijacked by terrorists and flown to Pakistan.

A Fox spokesperson let Contemptor know that McInerney is not an analyst or contributor for Fox News and that Payne would be addressing the segment during his program on Thursday.

UPDATE 3:08 PM ET: Payne sent out the following tweets about the segment, claiming he didn’t hear them initially when he merely told McInerney thanks for appearing.

Watch the clip below, via Media Matters:

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona

Justin Baragona is the founder/publisher of Contemptor and a contributor to The Daily Beast. He was previously the Cable News Correspondent for Mediaite and prior to starting Contemptor, he worked on the editorial staff of PoliticusUSA. During that time, he had his work quoted by USA Today and BBC News, among others. Justin began his published career as a political writer for 411Mania. He resides in St. Louis, MO with his wife and pets.