The 'Torture' Fraud of the Left
"Torture" is one of many current topics of significance that have been abandoned to the left. Leftist commentators have been allowed to set the terms, make the definitions, and generally run the argument without much in the way of serious opposition or debate.
No small number of elements of the War on Terror have suffered the same treatment. An offhand list would include profiling, wiretapping, border security, and rendition. All have been hijacked and turned into battering rams to support a particular left-wing interpretation of the War on Terror. The GOP has been unable to respond for a number of reasons: they've been blindsided, have been busy fending off corruption investigations, or simply couldn't or wouldn't defend certain obvious positions. As a result, the left has been able to peddle its version of events with near impunity.
"Torture" is probably the most egregious of these cases. That's the explanation for the sneer quotes. Because, quite simply, in much of the debate over "torture", we're not talking about actual torture at all.