(Try reading this article while holding your breath.)
I ended my subscription to James Taranto's 'Best of the Web' a while ago after a particularly vicious ad hominem attack on Andrew Sullivan. Now it seems I might have been prescient. The Wall Street Journal's defense of waterboarding is simply sickening. Both Andrew Sullivan and Marty Lederman take it to pieces. I'll add my two cents, responding to this particular sentence from the WSJ:
That's a strawman argument, and a pretty nasty one at that. Instead, Sullivan (and, may I add humbly, yours truly) have consistently argued that we should not let our standards be determined by anything the enemy does.
As for "torture," it is simply perverse to conflate the amputations and electrocutions Saddam once inflicted at Abu Ghraib with the lesser abuses committed by rogue American soldiers there, much less with any authorized U.S. interrogation techniques.
Morality is not an ecological concept which changes along with the rest of the environment: that's opportunism. Which is probably the one weapon you might want to refrain from using in a war which is more about values than about territory.
Some have argued that similar practices take place in the American military during training exercises. However, to me there's a huge difference in undergoing such an ordeal on request in an army which is all-volunteer to begin with. In that case, you can be relatively certain the government won't do anything stupid because (a) you are going to sue the hell out of them, (b) they need you as a soldier (c) the interrogators don't harbor any feelings of hostility towards you.
Now compare that to a real-life war situation, where interrogators may or may not show similar restraint towards enemy combatants whom they might hold responsible for murdering some of their loved ones. We've had a number of prison deaths on our hands already.
Or do this little mind game. Imagine the one person you hate the most. Now imagine you trying to choke him, letting go just before he loses consciousness. Then imagine you do it again. And again. And again.
Never mind him: do you still feel human?