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Confusing!

By Brian Beutler

Read Hilzoy on the Los Angeles Times report that Obama just can’t quit George W. Bush’s habit of torturing people. There’s a temptation, I’m sure, for conservatives to wield stories like this as cudgels against those of us who don’t take a morally serious approach to fighting Al Qaeda. “A Ha! See! Even your beloved president knows it’s unwise to give up the waterboard,” etc. etc.

Let ’em. We’ll know soon enough how deeply committed Barack Obama is to ending the torture regime, and if the executive orders themselves are any indication, these sorts of opportunistic gotchas will begin to look extremely silly. As for those who are genuinely confused by terms — like “rendition” and “extraordinary rendition” — that sound alike but usually mean different things, you may be at risk of succumbing to The Funniest Joke in the World.

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So read Hilzoy, post haste.