It’s sort of sad that we live in a world where Paul Waldman actually has to write:
Everyone all over the world agrees on what constitutes torture. Torture is the intentional infliction of physical or mental suffering in order to obtain information or confessions. Not hard to understand. Yet Republicans have successfully lured the entire journalistic community into their moral sewer, where there is some degree of suffering (defined not by how awful it is, but by whether it’s fast or slow, and whether it leaves visible scars) that marks the line between torture and not-torture. If I rip your fingernails out – torture! If I tie you in a “stress position” designed to gradually inflict elevating amounts of pain, up to sheer agony, over the course of an hour or two – not torture! ….
But, of course, we do live in that world, and it’s a comfort that we’ve got Paul Waldman to write about it. Now, if only one of the campaigns would adopt him as a speechwriter, and take his advice to respond to the first question about “enhanced interrogation techniques” with “How about we stop this charade and have enough respect for the American people to start telling the truth? The Bush administration made the use of torture its official policy. You, Republican candidate, agree with that policy. You think the United States government should torture people. I don’t. We can argue the pros and cons. But don’t give us this ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ baloney. We all know what it is. If you’re going to advocate torture, have the guts to call it by its name. If you don’t, you’re not only immoral enough to be pro-torture, you’re also a coward.”