After reading the various defenses of the CIA's torture program by various commenters yesterday, I can only conclude that Noah Millman has correctly diagnosed not only why the U.S. government embraced the use of torture, but also its endorsement by many of the very proponents of limited government who should have known better than to do so:
Willingness to torture became, first within elite government and opinion-making circles, then in the culture generally, and finally as a partisan GOP talking point, a litmus test of seriousness with respect to the fight against terrorism. That – proving one’s seriousness in the fight – was its primary purpose from the beginning, in my view. It was only secondarily about extracting intelligence. It certainly wasn’t about instilling fear or extracting false confessions – these would not have served American purposes. It was never about “them” at all. It was about us. It was our psychological security blanket, our best evidence that we were “all-in” in this war, the thing that proved to us that we were fierce enough to win.I am astonished by the fact that those who are capable of grasping that government control of guns in the name of crime will inevitably be used against the people do not recognize that the government use of torture in the name of fighting terrorism will also be used against the people.
More @ Vox