One of the truths lost in the "debate" over whether or not the Bush administration's treatment of its prisoners constituted torture is the reality that in the wake of 9/11 our leaders turned into frightened irrational little children, bent foremost on revenge and swift, if uncertain, justice. Decisions were made in anxious haste, with only retribution in mind and no clear regard for the long-term consequences to our national reputation or our long-held, much-revered Constitutional ideals. The Bush administration dismissed who we are as Americans in pursuit of unholy justice. We are all cheapened by it, and someone should pay the price.
Recall that when George W. Bush was first elected selected as president, many were heard to say "at least now the grown-ups are in charge." I beg to differ. Clearly, with this shameful chapter in American history, whether any one individual is made to pay, we have demonstrated that, like children in a moral quandary, our ideals are not so immutable when tested as we would have the world believe.