Sometimes, you wonder just what the far right really does believe. And then you find it:
Torture has been illegal for a number of years, and President Bush insisted just as strongly as Obama that the U.S. does not torture. There was a legitimate debate about waterboarding, which does no physical injury, and which I do not believe constitutes torture. But according to press reports, only two or three top-ranking terrorists were waterboarded, none after 2003. And waterboarding has been banned by the U.S. military since 2006. So what was Obama's purpose in implying that until he came along, his own government was engaged in torturing prisoners? His speech was carried live by Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya, broadcast into countries where "torture" doesn't mean getting your face wet. Obama at least impliedly exaggerated the supposed sins of his predecessors and the "change" brought about by himself. Why? For what purpose? Isn't the campaign over?
This is John Hinderaker, someone who has apparently managed to block out the dozens of reports, including the latest from the Red Cross, in which there is no longer any doubt about the United States' use of torture under the Bush-Cheney administration, against domestic law, international law, and the Geneva Conventions.
To take the bizarre constitutional and legal claims of a man like John Yoo as dispositive - against the entire body of history, law, and morality that proves otherwise - is an act of ideological bravado, not a serious empirical or moral claim. He also seems to believe there is a legitimate debate about waterboarding, where in fact, no serious legal or military body has ever questioned its status as a torture technique, until the Bush administration came along.
But this is what we're dealing with - and why a full accounting of what the Bush administration did, and what it got from its actions, is long overdue. We need all of it - techniques and alleged intelligence procured from them - on the table. The campaign is indeed over. But America isn't. We can repair this appalling damage - but only with fact, truth and witnesses.