Even more disturbing than this, though that rates a close second.

As for number one, it comes from Jane Mayer's new book, by way of Alan Brinkley's excellent review in Sunday's Times:

By the end of 2005, those defending the regime of torture were no longer seeking primarily to protect the search for valuable intelligence. They were fighting for its survival, in the face of considerable evidence of the failure of SERE and other programs, because they feared being prosecuted should the program be halted and exposed. Even releasing detainees whom they knew to be entirely innocent was dangerous, since once released they could talk. “People will ask where they’ve been and ‘What have you been doing with them?’” Cheney said in a White House meeting. “They’ll all get lawyers.”

I mean, it's just fricking grotesque. You're tempted to call it Bond villain-esque, except in this case Cheney's evil seems more banal than Bond-ian. Or maybe like a Bond villain if Hannah Arendt were writing the screenplay...

--Noam Scheiber