When the Abu Ghraib prison scandal first broke, the Bush administration struck a pose of righteous indignation. It assured the world that the problem was limited to one block of one prison, that the United States would never condone the atrocities we saw in those terrible photos, that it would punish those responsible for any abuse - regardless of their rank - and that it was committed to defending the Geneva Conventions and the rights of prisoners.
We know now what we suspected then, all of the post-Abu Ghraib statements by the Bush administration were lies. The editorial goes on to refute each point, without using the L word.
Some Americans consider Abu Ghraib just fine with them. They favor more extensive torture and humiliation of the enemy. Most have put it out of memory.
As for me, it is a terrible thing by itself, but even worse as a sign of what else this administration has done and will do. The evidence suggests it is only a small part of a grim picture.
From a purely pragmatic perspective, it has alienated our historic allies far more than most Americans realize. If Bush is reelected, foreigners will (justly) conclude that Americans approve of Abu Grhaib. They will behave accordingly. Putin will be comforted, Europe will seek its own defense.
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