"I don't see it as a dark chapter in our history at all," - Charles Krauthammer, yesterday.
"The pictures are shocking and the practices appalling," - Charles Krauthammer, on Abu Ghraib, May 14, 2004.
As we now know, Bush and Cheney authorized torture techniques much worse than what we saw at Abu Ghraib, and as we now know, the techniques revealed at Abu Ghraib were garbled copies of practices already endorsed and authorized by the Bush White House. So what can possibly account for Krauthammer's shock at Abu Ghraib and pride in the torture program? That one was poorly organized and leaked? Or that Krauthammer's friends are now to be held responsible rather than reservists thrown into the deep end of the Rumsfeld gulag?
Or put it another way: imagine if an American operative out of uniform were captured by the Iranians tomorrow. Imagine he were put into a coffin for hours with no light and barely enough air to breathe, imagine if he were then removed and smashed against a plywood wall by a towel tied around his neck thirty times, imagine if he were then kept awake for eleven days in a row, then kept in a cell frozen to hypothermia levels, and then waterboarded multiple times, after which he confessed to being a spy trying to sabotage Iran's nuclear program. Would you believe that intelligence? Would Krauthammer? Would you believe both that he wasn't tortured and that the information he gave was reliable? That is what an otherwise intelligent human being is asking us to do not just in one case but in hundreds, in many of which the prisoner actually died under interrogation.