Wow. Talk about strong moral fiber. He's willing to go TOE TO TOE against all those people who are suggesting we should randomly torture American citizens. That's not even a straw man. It's an air man.
Of course he goes on to show that he may not be being dishonest. He may just be an idiot.
" Western civilization, and American civilization in particular, is based on opposition to torture."
What? Based on opposition to torture? How would that even work? "What do you base your morality on?" "We're against torture. Anything else is FAIR GAME!"
What he seems like he might mean is that American society is based on individual rights and freedoms, and the belief that government exists to create the best possible environment in which people can exercise said rights and freedoms.
This is something akin to the truth. It also undermines his whole argument. Sometimes upholding individual rights and freedoms has collective costs. That's part of the basis of American society. There's a reason why "Cruel and Unusual Punishment" is in the bill of rights, and it's not because James Madison wasn't into breathplay.
The thing that drives me crazy is that people like Shapiro don't realize that "we must torture others so that we might be safe" is exactly the sort of idea that leads to fascism. Once you alienate the other and mark him as inhuman you can do anything you want to him.
Western Society can survive in a form worth surviving only by upholding our morals and ethical standards even in the face of extreme duress. We may risk losing much by refusing to torture, but we guarantee losing even more if we continue to do it.