"A riddle wrapped in mystery inside an enigma" — Churchill's
comment about Soviet motivations floated into my mind as I read
Philip Zelikow's elegant and powerful analysis of American "Codes
of Conduct" during our Twilight War. We as Americans stand
today before a terrible and indisputable fact—that, as Mr. Zelikow
puts it, "for the first time in American history, leaders of the U.S.
government carefully devised ways and means to torment enemy
captives." And though we know an immense amount about how
this came to happen—the plot lines of who did what to whom, who
wrote the memos and who was "tormented" and how, who was
smashed repeatedly against walls, who was crushed into tiny
confinement boxes, who was waterboarded and how many
times—we know relatively little about how the momentous decision
came to be made.