One reason one begins to despair of the MSM is its inability to report an issue like the facts of the torture program. There are plenty of facts in the ICRC report, the OLC Memos and the Senate report. One of these facts is that waterboarding is torture under US domestic law, and this question has never been legally debatable until Dick Cheney decided he wanted to do it. There is no real genuine debate about this. Just because one person decides to say black is white does not make a debate; it makes that person merely a liar or delusional.
And so the MSM - Dan Balz is a useful pinata for Arianna - has to create a left vs right debate. It has to refer to "left-wing bloggers" as the only torture critics, as if it is somehow left-wing to accept the unanimous consensus of every American legal authority on waterboarding: that it is definitionally torture which is definitionally a war crime. Until Bush, no conservative in America, upon hearing that a captive had been waterboarded, would have hesitated for a second to call it torture. And yet now they leap as one to say it isn't.
I wish Norah O'Donnell had simply asked Liz Cheney how she can possibly say with a straight face that waterboarding a human being 183 times is not torture. How? You try it in the mirror.
If Liz Cheney were captured by an enemy, thrown into a dark and windowless cell, strung from the ceiling by shackles, kept awake for weeks on end, thrown headlong against a plywood wall for thirty times in a row and waterboarded 183 times, would she really emerge from that ordeal and say she wasn't tortured? I mean: really? Let's get real here: she's a fraud defending a monster.
Is Michael Goldfarb, for that matter, really saying in public that the man he used to work for, John McCain, was not tortured in Vietnam? Is Goldfarb calling McCain a liar or an exaggerator? And yet everything that was done to McCain has been done by Bush. And his spokesman calls the torturers "American heroes." And he renames torturers "freedom-questioners".
These people are not making a good faith argument. They are transparent defenders of the indefensible. Arianna is right: this is a defining moment for America. This is not now and never has been a question of right versus left. It is right vs wrong. It is a bright line which the black-and-white crowd has suddenly decided is oh-so-gray. But we have their testimony now. And history has it for ever.
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