I appreciated Andrew Sullivan's take on 'enhanced interrogation', or, to be explicit (and honest),torture. My best argument against torture was always to quote Nietzsche: "Be careful when you fight the monsters, lest you become one." Perhaps Sullivan's argument is only an unpacking of that Nietzsche quotation, but it's a good one:
One way to look at how the Bush administration redefined torture out of existence, so that it could, er, torture human beings, is to compare their criteria for "enhanced interrogation" with those for rape. Raping someone need not leave any long-term physical scars; it certainly doesn't permanently impair any bodily organ; it has no uniquely graphic dimensions - the comic book pulling-fingernail scenarios the know-nothings in the Bush administration viewed as torture; and although it's cruel, it's hardly unusual. It happens all the time in regular prisons, although usually by other inmates as opposed to guards. It barely differs from the sexual abuse, forced nudity and psychological warfare inflicted on prisoners by Bush-Cheney in explicit terms...So ask yourself: if Abu Zubaydah had been raped 83 times, would we be talking about no legal consequences for his rapist - or the people who monitored and authorized the rape?
Read Christopher Hitchens' first hand account of his mind changing experience of the subject, or watch it for yourself:
PS: For someone who seems to be so concerned with the way the U.S. is viewed in the rest of the world, does anyone else find it questionable that President Obama has stopped using 'The T word' as frequently, and has switched to using the less prosecutable 'enhanced interrogation' in his public statements instead? If there is one consistent complaint I have with this administration, it's the constant attempt to rebrand any descriptive term that might make anyone the least bit uncomfortable. Give it to us straight, please. I've never been much of a cocktail guy.