Mark Danner’s New York Review of Books piece on torture in conjunction with John Nichols’ comment on the Bush administration, outline moral, legal and political problems related to the global war on terrorism and the ascendancy of the American imperial presidency. Most people seem to be repulsed by the idea of torture but are not morally committed enough or fully dedicated to prevent it from being employed to defend their way of life. Torture is a policy decision predicated on fear, self-defense, and vulnerability in an age of globalized insurgency: one way to respond is to take the moral high ground and repudiate the use of torture thereby affirming the sanctity of life and civilized values.

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