Here, I believe, is the one place where Obama and the anti-torture mavens are right, and where we can and must agree with them: It should be difficult to torture, or to get anywhere near torture. Testing our traditional limits on interrogation should be one of the most difficult decisions our public servants ever take upon themselves. No one should feel justified in doubting that, even when being put on the defensive by trolls and mega-trolls and now the Commander-in-Chief, the vast majority of conservatives, like the vast majority of our fellow citizens, remain strongly protective of the individual – even a foreign individual, suspected of the worst – and committed to limiting the state’s freedom to work evil, even supposed lesser evil, in our name.

There are spots on one of those famous slippery slopes between what the Bush Administration really was and the “terror state” of Sullivan-Greenwald fever dreams where we can draw back, where we have drawn back, from the abyss, but there are probably as many or more where we could trip and fall beyond return, and I say this as someone who’s come down I hope strongly on the side of our interrogators.