Horror Values

Jacob Bacharach

Although a large portion of the American media—including “liberal” outlets like NPR—continues to abjure the word torture, the release of the Senate’s summary (the report, of course, is classified) seems broadly to have cemented in the public mind that the United States, in the immortal words of one particular winner of the Alfred Nobel Guilty Conscience Dynamite Prize for Achieving a Certain Notoriety in Global Affairs, “tortured some folks.” In fact, it appears that we tortured, raped, and murdered them, but what is the saying? You can’t make an omelet without breaking into a grocery store in the middle of the night and smashing the dairy case with a golf club? It’s something like that, anyway.

This is all pretty straightforward, but America is a post-moral society, and therefore no obvious evil can be condemned without the palliating piping-in of Drs. Efficacy and Outcome. The principle pushers-back are those ineradicable voices pestering…

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