Here’s Christopher Orr in TNR:
Whether he intended to or not, at a town meeting in Iowa last night Rudy Giuliani offered what may be the most honest defense of torture I’ve seen from an American politician. It is also, of course, a deeply immoral one. Asked whether waterboarding constituted torture, he replied:
It depends on how itâ€™s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. [emphasis mine]
What the United States is doing isn’t torture because it’s the United States doing it. I suspect this is the way a lot of torture apologists feel, but give Giuliani credit for being (I think) the first to come out and say it.
This is the same Giuliani who said at the United Nations, on October 1 2001:
On this issue – terrorism – the United Nations must draw a line. The era of moral relativism between those who practice or condone terrorism, and those nations who stand up against it, must end. Moral relativism does not have a place in this discussion and debate.
There is no moral way to sympathize with grossly immoral actions.