Salon’s Glenn Greenwald offers the best explanation of the kind of country America was during the Bush years (and Barack Obama is seemingly happy to keep the rendition program going to torture-friendly nations):
The fact that we are not really bothered any more by taking helpless detainees in our custody and (a)… threatening to blow their brains out, torture them with drills, rape their mothers, and murder their children; (b)… choking them until they pass out; (c) pouring water down their throats to drown them; (d)… hanging them by their arms until their shoulders are dislocated; (e)… blowing smoke in their face until they vomit; (f)… putting them in diapers, dousing them with cold water, and leaving them on a concrete floor to induce hypothermia; and (g)… beating them with the butt of a rifle — all things that we have always condemend as “torture” and which our laws explicitly criminalize as felonies (“torture means. . . the threat of imminent death; or the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering . . .”) — reveals better than all the words in the world could how degraded, barbaric and depraved a society becomes when it lifts the taboo on torturing captives.