(UPDATE: See below for details.)

I write a post about reverse torture porn and not a day later we learn Christopher Hitchens waterboarded himself. Coincidence? Of course it is. But we can use the conservative commentary on Hitchens to test my, um, pornographic thesis. We begin, as you do, with Michelle Malkin:

I can see agreeing to waterboarding for an article like the one Hitchens was writing.

I believe Mrs. Sade and Sacher-Masoch could weigh in here, but I’ll skip the overtly randy stuff in favor of the more substantial material produced by her commenters. To wit:

The question will always be, and there really is no avoiding it until we develop a true mind-reading technology: is our moral revulsion against torture justified that when weighed against the possible number of deaths we can avoid by using it, we will always argue against its use? […] But what if the object in question we are seeking is a nuclear bomb hidden in our city? Suddenly we are on the receiving end of the blast and the calculus changes drastically.

You can’t lead those horses into these waters any faster. See?

The enemy believes that we are weak, & Hitchens & his ilk are to blame. It will come to a point, & soon me thinks, when real force will be required. And then it shall come to pass that the unpleasant realities of preemption need to be replaced with the even more unpleasant realities of vengeance […] & the Hitchens of the world will cease to be relevant.

You have to love the Old Testament rhetoric of what is, really, Frank Castle fury. This commenter wants the day to come to pass when on thee and thou with His flesh-hooks rains carbuncle distemper and harrows everyone who has ever disagreed with him ever. The only way to prevent — if that’s your bag, which clearly it isn’t some people’s — this disaster? Torture fantasies:

[T]hose photos may have showed what looked to be electrodes […] no current was passed through, nor is there any evidence of same […] and I don’t care if appearances are shocking to the “sensitive” eyes of the all caring [liberals].

How many times has he rehearsed this bit? Stripping down the prisoner, rudely affixing the electrodes to his genitals, coyly fiddling the switch, &c. How are we not in the realm of fantasy when people affirm, on the basis of a picture, whether a current has ever passed through wires? (Short of “still in the plastic,” I mean.) But I’m meant to connect these apocalyptic fantasies and the sexualized means of their avoidance to John McCain, aren’t I? As luck would have it, someone beat me to the punch:

Debating that waterboarding is torture, when we have seen the depravity and cruelty displayed by our enemy, is just plain stupidity. Waterboarding, as a means of extracting vital information regarding our security is not torture, it is a means to an end and that means, whilst it may give some terrorist — who by the way, is hell-bent on our destruction — a few heart palpitations, and even may, gasp, feel he is drowning, he will be none the worse for his experience. Unlike John McCain, who cannot raise his arms above his shoulders, due to his injuries.

I am so glad I am not a liberal woman. Who could be attracted to these weak-kneed, ineffectual wussies who get limp at the thought of how awful these nasty Americans are for waterboarding.

Who loves SAT analogies? I love SAT analogies! But this one is really tough, so I’ll need you to help me out. At the thought of torture:

liberal : limp :: conservative : ____

Granted, this commenter wouldn’t have scored 800 anyway, what with “A is not torture because B and C are worse” passing for logic to her mind.

All of which isn’t to say that some people aren’t still satisfied with the role of torturer — “IF THAT MAKES YOU HOT SEE THIS! — only that it seems the McCain candidacy compels more than a few people to diversify their libidinal investments. (In more ways than they think.)

UPDATE: This comment concerning the war crimes prosecution of Japanese for waterboarding must be shared:

[T]he Japanese were considered war criminals, you effing morons, not for the act of waterboarding but for torturing to the point of drowning, and then going all the way and drowning or otherwise killing the prisoners.

We, OTOH, try to scare the carp out of the person being interrogated by giving him the sensation of, and the fear of, being drowned.

But how, pray tell, did it get in there?