The Senate Report on Torture, released yesterday, is going to divide conservatives. Some will tell us that the report and its release were motivated by partisan politics—as if there’s something that isn’t so motivated in this town. Some will tell us that the “enhanced interrogation” techniques employed by the CIA didn’t amount to torture—even though we executed as war criminals Japanese soldiers who did the same thing to our soldiers after World War II. Some will say the interrogations gave us information about the enemy that we wouldn’t have otherwise gotten, and if this energized the Islamic enemy, too bad for them. Some will tell us that things just got out of hand, that maybe we should have had better protocols, but so what? So we killed one prisoner? Too bad, the CIA doesn’t play patty cake.
I can see all that, believe me. But I have just one question. Can you think of a conservative who has done more harm to conservatism than John Yoo and his colleagues in the Bush Department of Justice who greenlighted waterboarding? I mean, since Joe McCarthy?