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According to the Internet encyclopedia, Wikipedia, the idiom “The straw that broke the camel’s back” is, ironically, from “an Arab proverb about loading up a camel beyond its capacity to move. This is a reference to any process by which cataclysmic failure (a broken back) is achieved by a seemingly inconsequential addition (a single straw). This also gives rise to the phrase ‘the last straw,’ used when something is deemed to be the last in a line of unacceptable occurrences. A variation of this idiom is ‘the straw that broke the donkey's back’.”

Unfortunately, John McCain—together with and his senate acolytes, among them Republicans Lindsey Graham and John Warner—is trying desperately to break the back of America’s struggle with Islamic terrorists . . .  and getting closer with every piece of national security legislation he proposes.

At the risk of angering, even alienating, some of my Vietnam War POW friends, I want to make it clear that having suffered the agonies of Communist captivity does not give John McCain, or anyone else, a license to act in a manner inimical to the interests of the United States of America.

Yet that’s what John McCain has been doing for years.

Put aside McCain’s domestic conduct: 

·        His part in the “Keating Five bank scandal, which cost countless bank depositors incalculable amounts of money, and some of them their life savings.”

·        His partnership with leftwing Senator Russ Feingold to sponsor and enact a federal statute that has throttled free political speech in American election campaigns. 

·        His organizing the senate cabal euphemistically known as the “Gang of Fourteen,” which made him kingmaker and indispensable to the White House in its nomination of Supreme Court justices and other federal judges—thereby, in a single coup, weakening the President’s appointment power and enabling the senate to filibuster in violation of its constitutional duty to give judicial nominees up or down votes.”

·        His whitewash of poster-girl traitor Hanoi Jane Fonda, whom he characterized as merely a “confused young actress”—thereby insulting many of his POW brothers and others who suffered from her conduct, and further legitimizing her traitorous conduct on behalf of the Communists.

Despite these egregious wrongs, flowing from McCain’s self-absorbed political ambitions, I have tempered my criticism of him in the past out of respect for his ordeal in Hanoi, but mostly because of my affection and admiration for a mutual friend who shared McCain’s torment in that hellhole.

My attitude changed in 2005 when McCain engineered a near-unanimous senate vote to give “enemy combatants” (i.e., Islamic terrorists) all the protections that the Geneva Convention reserves for prisoners of war, and to prohibit the obtaining of crucially important intelligence by “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.”

With that amendment, cravenly signed into law by the president, McCain crossed the line—paying lip service to political correctness, but more likely motivated by presidential aspirations.

At the time, The Wall Street Journal correctly observed that McCain’s do-gooder amendment necessarily revealed a flagging commitment to fight the War on Terrorism and assured terrorists that no harm would come to them when captured.  That, in the newspaper’s words, the amendment would amount to “unilateral disarmament” in the War on Terrorism.  That there was no principled reason for the Untied States not to reserve the ability to do whatever necessary to obtain intelligence necessary to protect our troops and our nation.

The reasons offered in 2005 by McCain and his politically correct colleagues and supporters to abjure "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" did not wash.   They were specious, empty platitudes echoing mantras from the left.

But thanks to George W. Bush’s signature, they have become law.

That’s bad enough.

But worse was the Supreme Court’s June 2006 decision in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, ordaining that the president’s structure of military tribunals to try Islamic terrorists was unconstitutional.

To accommodate the reading given that decision by government lawyers, and apparently to satisfy the domestic bleeding hearts and ephemeral international opinion, the president has now proposed new legislation. 

Writing in FrontPageMagazine, Janet Levy correctly observes that the president’s proposed legislation “may provide greater protections for terrorist detainees than those extended to American servicemen who defend our country and fight to preserve our rights and freedom. Bowing to a recent Supreme Court decision that outlawed Bush-created military commissions to try suspected al-Qaeda members, the Bush administration has now agreed to reject those commissions and follow standards of international law and the Geneva Conventions. Enemy combatants, including the alleged mastermind of 9/11, will enjoy the same rights under the law as legitimate prisoners of war.”

Andrew C. MCarthy, a first-rate lawyer writing yesterday in National Review Online, noted that

            “The president’s [now pending] Code for Military Commissions would vest jihadists—unlawful enemy combatants who scoff at the dignity of true soldiers and intentionally target civilians—with a plethora of rights: fair notice of the charges, counsel paid for by the American taxpayers they are trying to murder, the presumption of innocence (notwithstanding they were presumed guilty on the battlefield), lavish discovery of the prosecution’s case, and more.”

That’s bad enough

But even the president’s abject capitulation to the do-gooders is not good enough for the do-gooder-in-chief, John McCain.  Oh no! 

McCain and his camp followers, Graham and Warner—and doubtless others he will soon attract, including the just-saved Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and other Republicans—still aren’t satisfied.  Why?  Because under the president’s scheme to accommodate Islamic terrorists, including assassins, beheaders, and other assorted manical killers like the 9/11 mastermind, the defendant—but not his lawyer—would be denied access to some sensitive national security evidence, probably what is called “sources and methods” information.

In sum:

McCain took the president to the cleaners with his 2005 torture amendment, perhaps even emboldening some Supreme Court justices to nullify Bush’s military tribunals in the Hamdan case.

Our country is being disarmed morally and militarily by five of those justices who have not the faintest idea what the real world is like, let alone what war is like, let alone what this war is like.  It is they—Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, Breyer—aloof in their ivory tower, who are responsible for the Hamdan decision (three of the five having been appointed by Republican presidents).

There were ways for the government to work around that decision, instead of capitulating to it in the name of popularity, international law and the Geneva Conventions.

Unwilling to leave bad enough alone, grandstanding McCain and his gaggle of sycophants are now trying to provide the murderers whom we are trying to kill all over the world with classified information, on pain of having the charges against them dismissed if there is nondisclosure.  Khalid Sheikh Mohammed of 9/11 infamy has become Ken Lay of Enron fame.

Despite the Supreme Court, the president, and McCain and his followers, Islamic terrorists are not prisoners of war.

Nor are Islamic terrorists criminal defendants.

Islamic terrorists are . . .  Islamic terrorists.  They are fanatical believers in the worst passages of the Koran.  Their mission in life—and death!—is to convert the infidel or, failing that, to kill him.  Us.  You and me!

And in that nihilistic mission of death worship, they are being aided and abetted by Americans, elected officials, representatives and senators, Republicans.

In the first sentence of Andrew McCarthy’s National Review Online article, he asks the question “Can the nation afford a President John McCain?”  Andy doesn’t answer the question.  But I will.

The answer is “No.”

This nation can’t even afford a Senator John McCain.