Two emails typical of others:
Go ahead. Vindicate Cheney. Me, I would have cut KSM up with a bolt cutter. Burnt him. Cut off fingers. I am furious that we did not cut him up into pieces. Absolutely furious. As are most reasonable Americans. We love KSM being tortured. Me, it is the worst thing that he was only waterboarded. Bolt cutters and blow torches. That's most of us.
If this man were to have his flesh peeled inch by inch over the course of a month, I could not possibly have less sympathy, and I suspect I'd have an overwhelming majority of Americans to agree. (Just maybe not on paper or in a poll)
You cannot expect people to share, listen or even give any credence to what you say if you trot out a worthless mass murderer as a play on our morality. In normal people, right or wrong, the rights we hold dear, and the treatment we'd expect to give certain individuals are never going to be afforded those we all agree are just not worthy.
Khaled Sheikh Mohammed is one of those people. I am not aghast, ashamed or outraged at his treatment.
This is the America Cheney loves. It exists, though thankfully, I believe, in a minority. It believes in no laws or treaties restricting the power of government to pursue, torture, mutilate and murder those deemed "the other," or simply "those we all agree are just not worthy." One wonders what classes of people qualify as those "we all agree are just not worthy." One remembers the antecedents to this mindset in slavery and lynching and internment (the latter defended by the woman who know stands atop the New York Times bestseller list).
It is a form of fascism, designating some human beings as sub-human and empowering the state to torture them in any way that can satisfy the need for revenge. And it is the end of the rule of law, and the inverse of any serious form of Christianity. This impulse, the impulse for vengeful, sadistic violence against the other, is what now motivates large swathes of what's left of the GOP.
They are the torture party now. And so, so proud of it. Just ask Chris Wallace.