In an excellent op-ed The Economist eloquently explains why Bush should sign the McCain Amendment - not because America is an evil country, but precisely because it is one of the greatest democracies in the world:
In the cold war, America championed the Helsinki human-rights accords. This time, the world's most magnificent democracy is struggling against vile terrorists who thought nothing of slaughtering thousands of innocent civiliansâ€”and yet the administration has somehow contrived to turn America's own human-rights record into a subject of legitimate debate.
Mr Bush would rightly point out that anti-Americanism is to blame for some of the opprobrium heaped on his country. But why encourage it so cavalierly and in such an unAmerican way? Nearly two years after Abu Ghraib, the world is still waiting for a clear statement of America's principles on the treatment of detainees. Mr McCain says he will keep on adding his amendment to different bills until Mr Bush signs one of them. Every enemy of terrorism should hope he does so soon.
We are better than our enemies. There is no shame in signing an amendment to that effect; only strength.
Update 18.05: Sullivan adds:
This is not about the moral status of terrorists or mass murderers. It's about us, the moral status of the West, and places where as a civilization, we simply will not go as a matter of policy.
Indeed. I for one refuse to let my moral standards be defined by those whom Mr. Bush aptly described as 'thugs and murderers'.