but i watched frontline tonight, which dealt with the shifts in US policy towards torture, in guantanamo and iraq.
now i feel sick. not because the program was particularly graphic; it wasn't. but i just need to hear descriptions of torture and i can all too well imagine the reality. and indeed, there were not just "a few bad apples", but the rot goes all the way to the top.
it's a good program, fairly even-handed, and uses some interesting sources (including first-hand accounts of several interrogators, some still active). if you didn't have a chance to watch it, they'll put it online tomorrow. and there is additional material available in PBS' special section
i'm completely with michael traynor, who is a lawyer who served on the advisory board of "the harvard project" , and disagrees with the idea that newly-regulated torture lite is an acceptable option: There is no compelling justification for getting on the slippery slope of attempting to justify exceptions from the prohibitions against torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment.
There is no necessary correlation between additional regulation and additional professionalism. In addition to moral principle, coercive techniques are not established as a superior method for effectively eliciting timely, truthful, and useful information, and they present serious counter risks of vengeful retaliation to every American who becomes a POW, corroding discipline, and undermining our nation's values.
the day donald rumsfeld dies will be a good day for me, because a very, very bad man will finally be gone. the world would be a better and safer place if he had never come to power. interesting, how i feel the same about him (and GWB) as i feel about saddam hussein and osama bin laden. they all have ethics that are incompatible with mine. they all are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths of people like me, whose existence didn't harm the world one bit. i wonder whether us peons will ever wake up enough en masse to say "enough" to the power-hungry. centuries of history speak against it. *bleh*.
 Long-Term Legal Strategy Project for Preserving Security and Democratic Freedoms in the War on Terrorism (pdf