The images from Abu Ghraib prison do not test one's convictions about the wrongness of torture...
Junk videos made by mediocre pick-nose pornographers are evidence of a complete indifference to intelligence. ... Moral considerations apply, as they must. But the vice of the torturer is that he or she produces confessions by definition. And soon, the whole business of confession has become polluted with falsity and madness. Even the medieval church was smart enough to work this out and to drop the practice.
Another objection is that the torturers very swiftly become a law unto themselves, a ghoulish class with a private system. It takes no time at all for them to spread their poison and to implicate others in what they have done, if only by coverup. And the next thing you know is that torture victims have to be secretly murdered so that the news doesn't leak. One might also mention that what has been done is not forgiven, or forgotten, for generations.
I got the link to this article from the ever-brilliant UFO breakfast who comments on blog reactions to Abu Ghraib.
What comes out in the furious military weblogs is how they see this as an apocalyptic failure of discipline and therefore of honor. What comes out in the pundits is how instantly they emotionally identify with the power to humiliate and the complete freedom from discipline or responsibility or the requirements of honor.
Yes, yes. The emotional identification with the abuser.