The debate over torture in the US has descended into tragic farce. Some on the right are so determined to always take the toughest position possible on any war on terror question that they sound like a Stephen Colbert parody of themselves [bold mine-DL]. ~James Forsyth

True enough, but it isn’t just that defenders of torture sound like this parody, but that they embrace torture in the conviction that they are morally superior on account of their strong support for torture, which some of them no longer even bother to deny is torture.  You see this quick progression towards embracing and normalising the atrocious in other places as well.  If some wartime tactic results in many civilian deaths, there is a swift move from lamenting the loss of life to rationalising that “these things happen” accidentally to endorsing Dresden and Nagasaki without qualification to calling for “pre-emptive” nuclear strikes on countries that have never attacked us.  When Israel was fighting in Lebanon last year, the progression went from stressing the IAF’s tremendous restraint to justifying its disproportionate violence.  Policies of aggression and domination always lead to this same thing: the degradation and brutalisation of the one who employs brutality, leading to a progressive loss of moral judgement as more and more things become permissible for the sake of the broader scheme.