The tragedy here is that there are still excuses about the 'possible ticking time bomb' gambit. But folks really need to start thinking a little more. If there is a plot to detonate a nuclear device in some american city, do folks really believe that torturing folks will help them majically find the bomb?
There are continual appeals to the Gestapo being successful at terrorizing the citizenry, but there is the small problem there. It is easy to get merely political activists to break. They are civilians. They are not hard corp players. If americans would go back and review the difference between breaking up the Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party as public organizations, with the so called 'ticking bomb'. They will be reminded that the hard corp communists were being tortured for years and did not crack.
Similarly they will note that only about 12% of cases were started by the Gestapo. In the run up to the war years, on the order of half of all of the denunciations that reached the Gestapo were 'vendetta' for percieved wrongs, or to remove the competition in social or business situations. Less than a quarter of the denunciations were actually in accordance with the Loyal Party Dogma and compliance with the Highest Ideals. So the real terror of the state was it's ability to create the perception that it was the all knowing. It's ability to co-opt the courts and the police, and ultimately the person on the street into it's web of repression.
So maybe americans want to work out where DO they really want to stand on these unpleasant issues?
Do they really want to stand on the world stage and publically say that in the bottom of the 9th inning, 3/2 pitch, they decided to choke and go with their moral relativism hoping that allowing someone else to do the dirty work would allow them to squeek into heaven?
At which point, who knows. Americans may decide that there really are somethings that are more important than merely personal warm fuzzy that the nannyState will protect them from all of the things that will go bump in the dark. Maybe they want to work out what is really all that important about living in america, and the american way of life.