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February 17, 2005

WHY THE TORTURE ISSUE HASN'T RESONATED:

But it isn’t just administration secrecy that explains why Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo haven’t helped the Democrats politically. Some Democrats say torture may in some cases be necessary, although no Democrat has claimed that the depravity in the Abu Ghraib photos was one of those cases.

Last June, in the immediate aftermath of the Abu Ghraib revelations, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a hearing of the Judiciary Committee, “If we knew that there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we believed that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is most Americans and most senators, maybe all, would say, ‘Do what you have to do.’”

Schumer added, “It's easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used. But when you're in the foxhole, it's a very different deal.”

Yeah, when you're to the left of Charles Schumer and Oliver Willis on the torture issue, you're, well . . . aligned with me. And that's not going to get you anywhere politically.