Christopher Hitchens has died. Not that my regard counts for much, but I had a lot of respect for him, despite rather different viewpoints on things.
I'd initially discounted him as some right wing blowhard following his very hawkish stance on Iraq and in other matters. One in particular was water-boarding, he was quite vocal on the matter, convinced that it was a necessary evil and not really torture. However unlike many pundits and politicians he had the courage to prove his point of view and had himself water-boarded by the professionals to demonstrate that concerns about it were overblown.
To his surprise the experience undermined his argument, - and this is why I respect him - but rather than quietly dropping the matter as I imagine many would do, he became just as vocal in his opposition of water-boarding, that it is in fact torture. When he was proven to be wrong about something, rather than ignoring the facts which didn't fit in with his preconceived viewpoint he publicly changed his stance, and for that and on other issues he has my respect.
If you haven't seen it I highly recommend reading the Vanity Fair article and watching the video he did about water-boarding.