A Definition of Evil

The issue of presidentially authorized torture is beginning to permeate the MSM. From the Chicago Sun-Times:

The embarrassing truth for me, as I read Lagouranis' book, is that I never saw him as a torturer.

He never used a cattle prod on anybody, never personally beat anybody or condoned a beating, never resorted to waterboarding - the infamous technique, said to be used by the CIA, during which a victim is made to feel like he is drowning.

Lagouranis' methods were usually technically legalc- making a prisoner stand for long periods of time, for example, or forcing him into a "stress position," such as making him put his back against a wall and bend his legs, as if sitting without a chair.

In the last six years, I've probably read dozens of news stories about the debate over acceptable interrogation techniques. And at some point along the line, I apparently bought in to the Pentagon's disturbing mind-set that "torture" is a matter of what's legal, not what's moral.

At the California Clipper, that's what I told Lagouranis: "I don't think of you as a torturer."

We had been sitting in the front window of the bar, looking out on California Avenue, talking in normal voices. But now his voice rose. "If you keep a man awake for a month, that's torture," he said, standing up. "If you subject a man to hypothermia, that's torture. If you keep him on his knees off and on for a month, that's torture."

"If you don't include torturing helpless prisoners in your definition of evil ... your definition of evil is meaningless."

More here.