I'd buy pay-per-view of Jesse wiping the studio with Sean Hannity
STRAW MEN AND FALSE CHOICES
...this is not a question of taking different sides in a war; this is two groups of Americans having a disagreement about how best to deal with a foreign enemy both of these groups of Americans despise, fear and revile equally. My group, the anti-torture group, believes that what should make us superior to terrorists is respect for law and due process and civilization, and that when we give in and use these tactics, we forfeit that superiority and actually confer a kind of victory to the al Qaedas of the world, people who should never be allowed any kind of victory in any arena. We furthermore think that the war on terror doesn’t get won with force alone, that it’s a conflict that ultimately has to be won politically, by winning a propaganda battle against these assholes, and we can’t win that battle so easily if people in the Middle East see us openly embrace these tactics.
An excellent point from Matthew Schmitz at plumblines:
We cannot tiptoe around the fact that our government engaged in profoundly evil acts in the name of American citizens. No matter how vehemently we disagree with the actions of the torturers, the fact remains that they were done in the name of the American people. It is true, of course, that “we” the citizens of the United States are not morally culpable for what our elected representatives and their subordinates did. But we are politically responsible. If we fail to pursue justice and punish the malefactors, we start to share in the blame for the actions they performed.
Much as Obama becomes a part of the cover-up for failing to prosecute, it will trickle down to us too, if we don't force the politicians to do the right thing—or drive their asses out of office if they don't, we all start to own it.
Of course the problem is this: next election we'll be faced with choosing between a party that gives lip service to the rule of law, yet doesn't enforce it, versus a party openly threatening to operate a torture regime if they regain power.
Eric Martin at Obsidian Wings compiles a list of old quotes from some prominent people regarding America and torture. These same words uttered today would be cast as those of a naive idealist or a pacifist weakling...yet it was the public position of these "tough guys"—until they were exposed.