What could possibly make a human being torture another human being?

That’s a question that, as a young boy, I recall asking my grandparents—Holocaust survivors—after they described to me in vivid detail the torture they and other members of my extended family were subjected to by the Nazis during World War II.

It’s a question I returned to earlier this year when I had the opportunity to interview a veteran of the US Army Reserves who was torn up about the torture he says he witnessed and participated in against some “war on terror” detainees while serving as a guard at the Guantanamo Bay prison facility. [That guard, Pfc. Albert Melise, has since been barred from reenlistment for speaking to me.]