How times have changed.
I was struck by this comment posted by Grandmere Mimi some time ago on Wounded Bird:
The fact is that many in the country believed that torture was justified. I hear folks say the same thing today. Avoiding even the mention of the repugnance, immorality, and illegality of torture, I ask them about the innocent who were rounded up willy-nilly and tortured first and released later, the response is, "Too bad for them. We had to do it to stop the terrorists." Then I say, "But they were not terrorists. They were innocent and subsequently released!" that changes nothing in their thinking. It had to be done.
That could describe the views of a lot of my family. My explanation for this glad embrace of Faustian reasoning is frightened white people. "Just so long as it's happening to them and not to us." As my friend David Kaplan says, America at its worst is a plea bargain with history on behalf of the white middle class.