Americans succumbed to the temptation to mass torture out of four motives:

  1. fear

    the motive of the naïve person in the street, as if Iraqi peasants had any conceivable means to harm them.
  2. sadism

    Bush and Cheney’s motive.
  3. racism

    the anaesthetic for conscience and common sense. Americans would never have tortured Caucasian Christians so casually. American Christians tortured brown-skinned Iraqi and Afghan Muslims with the same religious fervour that the Catholic Inquisition tortured the Albigensian heretics.
  4. conceit

    Americans are in a position much like the waning days of the British Empire. Their insecurity makes them wish to punish anyone who tacitly refuses to acknowledge American privilege and superiority.
~ Roedy (1948-02-04 age:69)