The role of torture in procuring information that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden has become one of the principal sources of debate this week. That debate highlights some of the intractable differences among foreign policy experts and it also indicates the distorted way some Catholics view politics.
Of course, it will be many years before historians sift through the mostly classified evidence surrounding the interrogation of terrorists in the past decade. And, historians by training learn that they must let the evidence tell the story, not try and cram that evidence into an existing narrative fashioned out of other, non-historical, ambitions. Now, and for the foreseeable future, the two sides in the debate will use whatever evidence supports their case and neglect the evidence that undermines it.