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A Cage That Imprisons All

Terror and torture were among the topics of Tuesday's GOP debate that elicited some of the most outlandish of the night's performances. In a scenario better suited to an episode of "24", moderator Brit Hume asked how far the candidates would go to thwart a pending terror attack. Rudy and Tancredo wholeheartedly endorsed whatever means necessary. Romney did them one better by also going off on a tangent about the need to double Gitmo. The only reasoned response explaining why torture doesn't work came from McCain, which isn't very surprising given his background. But still, tough on torture was what drew the biggest applauses.

But as Charles C. Krulak and Joseph P. Hoar remind us, torture is definitely not something we should cheer. Here's a taste.
The American people are understandably fearful about another attack like the one we sustained on Sept. 11, 2001. But it is the duty of the commander in chief to lead the country away from the grip of fear, not into its grasp. Regrettably, at Tuesday night's presidential debate in South Carolina, several Republican candidates revealed a stunning failure to understand this most basic obligation. Indeed, among the candidates, only John McCain demonstrated that he understands the close connection between our security and our values as a nation.

Read the whole thing. It is, if anything, yet another in a series of endless reiterations of why we should endeavor not to find ourselves prisoners to the cage of irrational fear.

Update: More from Balkinization.

(Filed at State of the Day)

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