Tortured thinking

It's a great pity that the public is said to be largely in favor of torture ("Poll: CIA tactics approved by most," Dec. 17). A large part of the problem is this country's leadership. Large megaphones have been granted to those who are in favor of torture, with critics relegated to the sidelines.

The result is that the public is about as well-informed on the morality and usefulness of torture as they are on the country's fiscal deficit. (And on that issue, Forbes, in February 2013, noted that only 6 percent of voters were aware that the deficit is neither growing nor staying the same, but actually shrinking, and at a rather dramatic rate at that.)

As it happens, neither torture nor deficits actively affect people's lives. They're abstract issues with no real-life impact on how people operate day-to-day. So the public has a pretty fuzzy grasp of what it all actually means.

|Richmond L. Gardner, Horsham,