“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever”

Jesse Lava runs through the actual, on-the-books, law of the land regarding torture. Bottom line: torture, and even “acts of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment which do not amount to torture” are illegal, regardless of how useful it is, or how scared we are, or what we saw Jack Bauer do in last week’s episode. (It’s impressive, and sad, the degree to which the language of the Geneva Conventions actually anticipates the justifications being bandied about in the media right now.) You’d think all this would go without saying. And, apparently you’d be wrong.