Some bloggers have misunderstood my post yesterday on the use of torture in a Tennessee drug-war case and its connection to Bush administration policies. Of course I don't blame Bush for what rogue cops in Tennessee are doing. I was merely making a more general, and conventional, point that the president does indeed set a moral standard for the country. George W. Bush himself made this argument in his first election campaign when he ran against the legacy of Bill Clinton. Bush's moral standard is that imprisoning suspects without trial, stripping them of due process, and abusing and torturing them is morally defensible. That defining down of our moral and legal compass matters. Radley Balko elaborates the point here.
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