Let's face it, turning this kind of microscope on our own actions brings with it a lot of controversy, calls that we are endangering or damaging the CIA, or opening a can of worms that is best left closed. The dilemmas of a free society are many, and this is one of them. And the dilemmas of a free society are messy. But we should never walk away from them because of that.
Are we the nation that will follow the lead of the peaceful protesters, reconsider our values and trumpet a new civil-rights era? Will newly-empowered Republicans support such a thing?
According to the Justice Department, Mr. Cheney will be extradited to an undisclosed country with no formal torture policies. "He will be treated to that spa's full menu of enhancements," said Bob Lapdoug, Undersecretary for Legal Hijinks. "But rest assured that the United States of America does not torture."
As we end another year of endless war in Washington, it might be the perfect time to reflect on the War That Started All Wars -- or at least the war that started all of Washington's post-Cold War wars: the invasion of Panama.
All the hullaballoo over the United States government's' use of torture as an officially-sanctioned intelligence gathering process was bad enough. It brought back memories of a shameful period in American history. But when Dick Cheney reappeared to defend the practice of torture, it was the worst specter of Christmas past.
Shrum and Lowry discuss North Korea's film fatwa and Cheney's eagerness to become Mr. Torture. Then: If Nixon recognized China 25 years after its Communist Revolution, why shouldn't Obama do so with Cuba 50 years later? And can the third Bush beat the first woman?
Mr. Obama, in ruling out prosecution for torture, may have thought he spared us bother, but actually he did us harm. By casting accountability into limbo, he makes possible government-sponsored torture in the future and prevents America from recovering the thing most precious: our good name.
Mental health practitioners, like journalists, are -- as I see it -- obligated to raise even controversial and provocative questions and to help us make sense of, not only individual pathology, but also the group narrative in any given period of time.
Moral and intellectual clarity about the world we live in are not compatible with self-exculpating glibness. Our adversaries' wrongness does not mean we are in the right. The substance of the terrorists' victory lies exactly in their success in having persuaded Western societies to empower our own authoritarian regimes.
Despite the fact that he's not been to Iowa in two years, and that his political team consists of just four people, Bush has big Republican donors salivating on the sidelines.
In her Saturday Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan insists that the Senate torture report should not have been published, but instead reserved for public officials. She apparently regrets that the world will think less of us. Nonetheless, Noonan is ultimately right to maintain that the Senate document is partisan.
Below is the original version of the Meet the Press interview before Cheney's people threatened Todd with a very cold, wet death if he didn't destroy it and re-interview him. Thankfully, Kim Jong-un's hackers were able to locate the original and make it public.
In my youth trying to be cool was a 24/7 job. I have cut this activity back to four hours a week. This allows me to sleep later and spend at least five hours every day in the state of bemusement.
The most horrifying part of the Senate's CIA Torture Report is the general public reaction, which is not a unanimous "this is horrendous."