Ed Morissey, with the predictable tough guy spin:
Are we to believe that the men who killed 3,000 men, women, and children were so sensitive that those threats would leave them psychologically scarred for life — but mass murder didn’t? Will the DoJ now prosecute police officers who blow smoke in subjects’ faces, either inadvertently or deliberately, during interrogations? Isn’t this defining torture down to an absurd level? If anything, it shows that the statutes governing torture are ridiculously vague.
And how many American lives is it worth to prevent this? 10,000? 5,000? Your family’s? Like it or not, those were the stakes in the weeks following 9/11.
Putting aside the fact that there is nothing vague about whether or not it is legal to stage mock executions, these clowns will never figure it out, will they? This is not about the terrorists, it is about us. Decent nations don’t torture, they don’t threaten to rape the children of prisoners, they don’t stage mock executions, they don’t waterboard people 200 times in one month. No matter what the stakes.
And they certainly don’t do those things and get any right to pretend they have some sort of moral authority on the world stage. Period.