A reader writes:
In time of war, whether conventional or asymmetric, people WILL torture other people. International law and treaties can’t stop it, they can only declare it clearly wrong and subject to social justice whenever it occurs. The people who wrote these things knew that torture comes out of anger and fear so they made it clear that once physical control is established those in control are responsible for the well being of those they control.
The goal is to declare what was a shameful act not fit for civilized man.
The greatest offence in the Bush administration isn’t that torture occurred, it’s the failure to be ashamed of it. They didn’t try to hide it so well it could never be found, they wrote memos about it. They set out to make mundane what should always be monstrous.
And they are proud.