- "Mistakes were made." Using the passive voice disguises the main actor; mistakes were made by whom? We don't know, but they were made, it's time to move on!
- "We don't torture." President Bush said this in 2003, and President Obama said this in 2009. When Bush said it, we believed him. That lie, then, puts a cloud over everything that follows. Regardless of whether you think President Obama should prosecute torturers and the justifiers of torture from the previous administration, he is definitely doing the right thing by bringing this to light; transparency is the only act that will remove the cloud.
- "Enhanced interrogation methods." That's so less ugly than torture, right?
The assertion of total power through unchecked violence - outside the Constitution, beyond the reach of the law (apart from legal memos from hired hacks instructed to retroactively redefine torture into 'legality') - will be seen in retrospect as the key defining theory of Bush conservatism. It ended with torture. Why? Because reality may differ from ideology; and when it does, it is vital to create reality to support ideology. And so torture creates reality by coercing "facts" from broken bodies and minds.