This morning on NPR, I heard Steve Innskeep interviewing a man from Iran about the many people who've been taken prisoner by the Iranian government since the election. The interviewee named several people, most of them friends of his (I'm sorry, but I was driving and couldn't write the names down--and they won't post today's stories online until later today--I'll link then).
The notable part of the interview, at least to me, occurred when the interviewee revealed that at least one of these prisoners is now reportedly being tortured. He said that "last time," two years ago, the Republican Guard would arrest people but they would just hold them. This time, "it's different," he said--he's heard that at least one prisoner he knows is being beaten and tortured.
"What's changed between last time and this time?" Steve Innskeep didn't ask.
"Last time," the interviewee didn't reply, "the Iranian government and the Republican Guard didn't have as justification the fact that the US tortures all the time. Now they know the US tortures, so why can't the Iranians?"
Innskeep then didn't say, "Oh, of course--if the most powerful and supposedly upright and law-abiding nation in the world can torture prisoners on a regular basis, then other nations whose governments might've been afraid to anger the UN and defy international laws before can now torture just like the US, with impunity."
"Exactly," the interviewee didn't conclude.