Tell Me, Someone, What Century Is It?

Tell me, someone, since the view from this side of the pond is now so hysterical: Is the American government, as such, actually pleading with its Western allies to support the use of torture as public policy? I can be pretty belligerent at times, but I do wonder if the world is reverting to the middle ages. I had dinner with someone from the Heritage Foundation last week and he was almost tearful in his appreciation of the "help" Tony Blair had been to the Bush administration over torture. I could hardly stay in the room. Is this the 21st century? Is there one thing that Saddam Hussein did to his people that we are not now doing to someone somewhere in the Middle East? Or are we all sunk in some passing phase of liberalism that flowered and died in the second half of the 20th century?