Email of the Day

A reader writes:

I can't believe you would put the interrogation policies of the Bush administration and the barbaric beheading of another human being on the same moral plane. You wrote today:

"My point is that we can no longer unequivocally condemn the torture of these two soldiers because we have endorsed and practised torture ourselves."

Until you can show me evidence that a U.S. Government interrogator has taken a dull knife, cut into the throat of another man or woman, and sawn through skin, muscle, tendon, and bone until the head of that persons detaches from their neck, please don't make such an intellectually dishonest comparison between these barbarians and our own government.
Our enemies are fundamentalist nihilists. We may have to fight a harder, dirtier war against such a disgraceful enemy. But we still must do what is necessary to win.

This is an honest argument: to fight barbarians, we must become more like them. I disagree; I believe torture is always wrong, and profoundly corrupts the torturing nation that endorses it. I also think that in the short and, even more, in the long run, it will prove our undoing in this war. This is a battle between barbarism and civilization. We cannot destroy our moral compass in order to save it.