Dahlia Lithwick on America’s growing tolerance of torture:
Our views on water-boarding seem to be on the same trajectory as our views on sexual humiliation and stress positions—it looked sort of awful at first, but after a few months it seemed more like a fraternity prank. That’s the road we’re headed down with water-boarding. We’ve gone from banning it to trivializing it to justifying it. We are becoming inured to torture at approximately the same rate that it’s becoming legal. How convenient.
Senator Joe Lieberman and SCOTUS Judge Antonin Scalia, having watched too many episodes of “24”, want to leave the “torture” option open just in case that “ticking time bomb” scenario ever comes up.
And apparently so does John McCain. Despite his own experiences as a tortured POW, McCain will back a Bush veto of the just-passed legislation banning waterboarding. Well, at least McCain showed up to vote against the bill. His Democratic rivals were too busy campaigning.
Oh, and: While the BushAdmin’s DOJ spokesman declared that waterboarding is indeed currently illegal, the BushAdmin reserves the right to change that in the future. Don’t worry, they’ll notify Congress.