That is the Yoo/Bybee argument, extended in defense not just of our own people, but of potential enemy peoples whom we would rather view as potential citizens of a constitutional government. However, torture, as I have attempted to explain, is uniquely contradictory of the very same liberal democratic ethos, or at least of half of it, whose embrace by others we claim to seek. We are not willing to be the kind of people would have to be actually to torture very effectively, which is what I think people really mean, because they are not really capable of saying anything more, when they claim that "torture doesn't work." The torture we are willing to do already is too much torture for us to bear under current circumstances, and no one, whom I know of outside of rightwing internet discussion threads where anything is possible, has called for further "enhancements." We may have been terrorized or tortured by terror, but we haven't been hurt or threatened enough to go any further, and risk disfiguring ourselves so much in the process that we wouldn't be able to recognize ourselves anymore.

To the extent that the polity is not a "family-like group," and that the political does not by extension summon or evoke a "familial" or quasi-familial identification, then the political is merely an instrumentality for the realization of particular, pre-existing objectives limited by the horizon of the family or the individual within the family. If that was so for all citizens, then the political could never summon the "ultimate sacrifice": There would never be a reason or justification for the family or individual ever willingly to offer up a life - enclosing the entire set of its in this sense pre- or non-political possibilities - to the political. (When the draft notice appeared in the mailbox, it would be returned to sender or anyway the draft would be resisted to the utmost.) The classic definition of the political, what Aristotle meant by defining the human being as a or the "political animal," means that the organization into the political state is as "natural" as the family, and we could even say that it's as natural as the organization of the self as a self. Without a political or collective identity our familial and individual identities are incomplete. Apparently, the latest up to the moment natural science supports the notion of the naturalness of this pre-disposition in terms very close to the ones that Aristotle himself might have used, if perhaps with greater attentiveness to their embedded implications, as "genetic" and "biological." This is a matter of "genesis" and "life" or the "meaning of life" - logos of bios - itself. In classic anthropology, largely adopted by modern natural law up to a very specific and problematic point that we've discussed before or are always discussing, the individual cannot be thought apart from family and the polity or society. The modern liberal ideology is permanently vexed by this problem, which continually re-appears especially and predictably at the moment of danger, or the realized, torturous putting of the question to the liberal as to why he or she "ought to be" at all.

Could be, except for the "wonderful world of Morsi" part - it doesn't seem to be "his" world - and I'm pretty confident KSM and Zubeydah will be otherwise engaged. Don't know about their "likes." Not really my subject here.