Christopher Hitchens, on being waterboarded:
As if detecting my misery and shame, one of my interrogators comfortingly said, “Any time is a long time when you’re breathing water.” I could have hugged him for saying so, and just then I was hit with a ghastly sense of the sadomasochistic dimension that underlies the relationship between the torturer and the tortured.The Levin report argues that torture began in an attempt to establish evidence that would connect 9/11 and al Qaeda to Saddam Hussein. I think this is entirely too kind.
It was ordered by Cheney and Rumsfeld, and approved by Bush Cabinet members and Bush himself, because they could do it. There is a relationship between torturer and tortured, even at a remove: and they wanted that relationship. How many of them, after all, had ever been to war, and yet they wanted war desperately. How many of them had ever interrogated a suspect? And yet they affirmed that torture was Administration policy.
Yes, there is a depth of evil here that is very, very difficult to fathom.