I understand that the playing field has changed dramatically since 9/11, but I never thought I would see the day when the American people basically accepted the idea that it was ok to condone the practice of torture. Marty Leaderman of Balkinization lays out exactly what's wrong with the deal put together by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ, who, as an aside, continues to engage in dog and pony shows to improve his standing among moderate, undecided voters), and Sen. John Warner (R-VA). Friday's New York Times ran an editorial that spells out clearly why this is indeed a "Bad Bargain" for those who care about what the U.S. used to stand for. And Charles Pierce of The American Prospect rightly blasts the Democrats for letting a few senators who have a history of talking tough but caving when the deal goes down carry their water.
I think our Founding Fathers would be terribly distraught at what we have become. America, the "indispensable nation", the "city shining upon a hill", has abdicated the moral high ground in the hopes of beating useful intelligence out of "enemy combatants" (contrary to the Army's own newly revised Field Manual) which states:
"The use of force, mental torture, threats, insults, or exposure to unpleasant and inhumane treatment of any kind is prohibited by law and is neither authorized nor condoned by the US Government. Experience indicates that the use of force is not necessary to gain the cooperation of sources for interrogation. Therefore, the use of force is a poor technique, as it yields unreliable results, may damage subsequent collection efforts, and can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear."