05/25/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Karl Rove Tweets on Torture

Why is the notion of Karl Rove tweeting in defense of Bush administration torture policies so disturbing?

Precautions taken 2 guarantee compliance w/ federal prohibition on torture. U might characterize diligence as overcautious.#TCOT #SGP #HHRS

Yes, I suppose U might be impatient with the amount of legal and bureaucratic activity the Bush White House set in motion to justify waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" if U belonged to the Khmer Rouge or the Syrian secret police (though if U were a Nazi, this fastidiousness would seem nothing exceptional).

But seriously, this is ... icky. And on about three different levels. Rove is not a lawyer or an intelligence expert; he is no position to judge the merits of legal memos or other steps taken to justify "enhanced interrogation." And in general, nothing he says about what went on in the Bush White House can be taken as anything but spin. He's also a particularly amoral political operative; throughout his career he's has prided himself not just on winning but on using underhanded tactics to destroy the reputations of his opponents. That such a man is blithely spinning on one of the gravest moral issues before us is both ridiculous and chilling, an example of the Bush administration's elevation of politics above even the nation's bedrock ideals. That Rove is doing this on Twitter (with hashtags!) just adds a layer of absurdity to the whole thing, while giving a bad name even to the "had too much butter on my pancakes" Twitterer class.