Andrew Sullivan: What we did not know

Andrew Sullivan has a long and bitter essay in the NYTimes book review today, discussing the torture of prisoners in Iraq and elsewhere taken into custody by the US Military.
After much detail about documented abuses, Sullivan asks:
“Did those of us who fought so passionately for a ruthless war against terrorists give an unwitting green light to these abuses? Were we naïve in believing that characterizing complex conflicts from Afghanistan to Iraq as a single simple war against ”evil” might not filter down and lead to decisions that could dehumanize the enemy and lead to abuse? Did our conviction of our own rightness in this struggle make it hard for us to acknowledge when that good cause had become endangered? I fear the answer to each of these questions is yes.”
An upsetting must-read.
THE ABU GHRAIB INVESTIGATIONS: The Official Report of the Independent Panel and Pentagon on the Shocking Prisoner Abuse in Iraq. Edited by Steven Strasser. Illustrated. 175 pp. PublicAffairs. Paper, $14.
TORTURE AND TRUTH: America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror. By Mark Danner.Illustrated. 580 pp. New York Review Books. Paper, $19.95.