Suppose we had a 9/11-level attack with 3,000 casualties per year every year. Each person reading this would face a probability of death from this source of about 0.001% each year. A Republic demands courage – not foolhardy and unsustainable “principle at all costs”, but reasoned courage – from its citizens. The American response should be to find some other solution to this problem if the casualty rate is unacceptable. To demand that the government “keep us safe” by doing things out of our sight that we have refused to do in much more serious situations so that we can avoid such a risk is weak and pathetic. It is the demand of spoiled children, or the cosseted residents of the imperial city. In the actual situation we face, to demand that our government waterboard detainees in dark cells is cowardice.
That seems like one of those points you’re not allowed to make. It’s correct, however, and I’d like to associate myself with it. I wonder if this characteristically apt Damon Linker post helps explain why some Americans are behaving in this fashion.