I don't have much time for watching television, not even the Sunday morning political interview shows. Fortunately, reporting on the Web keeps me well informed so I see that Dick Cheney was defending "enhanced interrogation" on CBS's Face The Nation. What can't be pointed out enough is that he is basically claiming that the threat of terrorist attack is so mortally dire that we cannot afford to retain the moral priciples we fought for as recently as WWII.
This is only incidentally about partisan politics. This is only incidentally about military strategy. The main issue is even more serious than the very serious question of rule of law. This is ultimately about whether we as a nation are an agent and defender of civilization or a decadent mob of barbaric cowards.
The chance that any one of us might physically fall victim to a terror attack is quite small. The danger of being mentally terrorized is much greater, but there is a cure for that. We must remind ourselves of who we are. Courage come from what we believe in -- in what we would die for if neccessary since to live without it would be unbearable. I believe I must love my neighbor as myself. No, I am not talking about loving the terrorists. I am talking about loving my fellow citizens enough that I would not sacrifice their lives for my safety. I cannot, in good conscience ask brave soldiers, sailors and Marines to leave their families and face death to protect me from such a small risk. I cannot ask goverment intelligence agents to brutalize themselves, hardening themselves to the pain they inflict upon others so that I can feel ever so slightly safer. I cannot stand to think myself such a coward. The threat of terrorism is sufficiently acute to justify legal and moral counter-measures. The "war" on terror was from the start a panicky over-reaction. I ask my fellow Americans to get over thier fear so that we can stand tall once more.