I have to admit to being surprised that the right seems to not only have instinctively rushed to defend torture (when, of course, they are not busy insisting that it isn’t torture), but now they are attempting to shift the debate into one in which we discuss the relative merits of torture (look at all the good intel I got while drowning this guy!) while bringing in the lawyers (I guess Andy McCarthy has moved on from Obama’s birth certificate) to make sure that their legal behinds are covered.
I have to admit I’m surprised too — I expected the reaction to be worse, both from the Village and from the right. It’s a given that the right not only likes the idea of torture for “national security” reasons but is also, in all likelihood, sexually aroused by the idea of torture. I expected much more lurid stuff about how great torture is and how Bush saved us from 1000 9/11’s, 9/11’s that will now befall of us because of Obama.
And I’m not surprised that the Village has taken a strong stand against prosecution, but I am surprised that they support the release of the memos at all (Broder):
Obama, to his credit, has ended one of the darkest chapters of American history, when certain terrorist suspects were whisked off to secret prisons and subjected to waterboarding and other forms of painful coercion in hopes of extracting information about threats to the United States.[….]
Suppose the investigators decide that the country does not want to see the former president and vice president in the dock. Then underlings pay the price while big shots go free. But at some point, if he is at all a man of honor, George W. Bush would feel bound to say: That was my policy. I was the president. If you want to indict anyone for it, indict me.
Is that where we want to go? I don’t think so. Obama can prevent it by sticking to his guns.
It’s a given that the Village sees an affair with an intern as far more serious than violations of human rights. We already knew that. I expected the Village outcry against the release of the memos to be much stronger.
I’m not depressed that our society is half-depraved. I’m pleasantly surprised that it may be half-sane.