Andrew Sullivan has an entry over at The Atlantic Online that defies adequate excerpting — it’s a look at the Bush administration’s use of the term “enhanced interrogation” to describe the we-don’t-torture methods our country is using to extract information from the people we’ve rounded up and classified as terrorists. Most importantly, it’s also a historical look at how Nazi Germany coined the exact same (translated) term, to defend what turn out to be many of the exact same practices. And not to jump right to the punchline, the final paragraph of the piece is the anchor:

Critics will no doubt say I am accusing the Bush administration of being Hitler. I’m not. There is no comparison between the political system in Germany in 1937 and the U.S. in 2007. What I am reporting is a simple empirical fact: the interrogation methods approved and defended by this president are not new. Many have been used in the past. The very phrase used by the president to describe torture-that-isn’t-somehow-torture - “enhanced interrogation techniques” - is a term originally coined by the Nazis. The techniques are indistinguishable. The methods were clearly understood in 1948 as war-crimes. The punishment for them was death.

There’s little to no doubt that as a nation, we will look back on what happened to liberty and security in post-9/11 America with shame and embarrassment; I’m just anxious for that collective realization to sink in and lead to enough institutional change up top to allow us to right the wrongs of the past four years.