We are witnessing societal and political impoverishment since 9-11 occurred. Think about all of the changes that have so quickly come about.
Torture is a type of impoverishment. The people doing the torture are impoverished. I think most people recognize this on some level. How can you maintain your bright humanity when you dispense cruelty. We attempt to legitimize torture by somehow presenting a greater picture scenario, but this falls flat. What emerges is a culture or a country that is impoverished, a country that lacks the generous resilience to dispense equal justice, a country that does not show a type of wisdom in dealing with brutality. I don't think anyone ever was happy to be a brutal human. You might project happiness onto a smiling rapist, murderer, or sadistic assailant but we can't fall for that twist and twisted it is. Can you recall periods in history when a country that tortured endured in history as a noble culture. Nazi Germany? The US can not torture its prisoners, no signing statement by George Bush makes it right. In fact it makes it worse.
Taking away the right of habeas corpus is another form of impoverishment. A simple rule that one can only be imprisoned lawfully is central to justice. People held in prison for years on end with no understanding of why they are being held, on the gut level this is an atrocity and we all know it. How can we allow our country to do this? Why have we accepted this type of impoverishment? Applying the principle of universality is the simple way to see if you want it. Treat the other as you would treat yourself. What level of frustration and rage would you experience if you were held in prison without charges for 5 years?
Painting is an 18th Century Thanka of the Buddha