The Psikhushka Option

Bradford Plumer suggests an explanation for the following comment on NPR about the appalling treatment of Jose Padilla:

Indeed, there are even some within the government who think it might be best if Padilla were declared incompetent and sent to a psychiatric prison facility. As one high-ranking official put it, "the objective of the government always has been to incapacitate this person."

Or, in Orwell's words, the point of torture is torture. I'm still reeling from the notion that a "high-ranking official" of the U.S. government would actually say that the Bush administration, rather than try and interrogate a terror suspect legally, would choose to drag a suspect off the street, detain him with no charges for three and half year and torture him into insanity. Hey, it's another terror suspect off the streets, after all. But again, one wonders where the allegedly Christian right is on this? Today, Ramesh Ponnuru writes:

Dave Weigel asks: "Is the shadow of Mengele over any proposal of 'experimenting' on a captured prisoner, no matter how bad the prisoner and how promising the experiment?" I hope so.

If this is true of abusing Saddam, isn't it also true of abusing Padilla? Or are all moral strictures abandoned when Bush is violating them?