I understand what Jonah Goldberg is getting at here — that despite the controversies about torture allegations, popular culture suggests that most Americans don’t instinctively mind rough stuff being done to bad guys. But there are some important qualifications here. In a TV show or movie, the audience “knows” to a moral certainty that the person being dealt with harshly is guilty. And the audience usually “knows” that the torture is preventing some forseeable evil. Neither of those things are always known in the real world.
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