We're all dirty torturers!

And may we please look in the mirror, for the sake of our own moral health? How many Americans spoke up when it was chic to thrill to the sadistic soundbite of “take the gloves off”? How many watched 24 without a murmur when the mass consensus was that it was OK – no, patriotic – to waterboard a bit? How many of us (as in civilised societies every­where when a wind of barbarism is set free) actually thrilled to the sadistic (and sometimes sexually sadistic) soundbites that came out of the Bush communications office: the “special sauce”, the “belly slap”, the phrase “we have our methods”?

So now the political and cultural winds have shifted. The members of Congress in their courage are now starting to call for investigations. Whom should they investigate? Well, in an ideal world, themselves: by knowing about and colluding with a declared and documented series of crimes, they are legally accessories to those crimes. So there is an element of cover-your-back in Congress finding its high dudgeon at last and pointing the accusing finger at subordinates in the CIA who obeyed orders that Congressional leaders helped to sustain as a mockery of domestic and international law, and as daily, appalling practice.