The Torture Executive Order

More analysis here and here. On the surface, it does seem like an incremental step forward. But we know that this administration treats every new attempt to place interrogation on a legal and humane footing as an invitation to exploit the loopholes. Once you have lost the trust of the public and world opinion, and once you refuse to simply return to the tradition of humane warfare initiated by George Washington, you can't get the trust back. After a while, moreover, you begin to see why the administration is so attached to torture as an instrument of policy. Their broader intelligence-gathering efforts remain so paltry and ineffective that torturing detainees may indeed be the best weapon they think they've got. Given the weakness of intelligence procured by torture, this is extremely worrying. One day, we need a president and Congress determined to fund real human intelligence-gathering among the Jihadists. Until then, we have sadistic grand-standing.