Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.This whole thing reminds me of the old joke with the punchline, "We have established what you are, madam. Now we're just haggling over price." I can't believe that these people don't understand that the point of foreswearing torture is that we will not become torturers. Morally, it's really not about the prisoners. It's about us, and what we are willing to become.
Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.