As James Harrington, lawyer for Ramzi bin al Shibh, told the court on Monday: "We now have to represent to our client that we had a spy within our team for a number of months. We don't know what activities that spy did." Will Harrington's client ever trust his defense team again? Should he? And if he can't, can he ever truly receive a fair defense?
Empathy for foreigners is not some warm and cuddly virtue; it lies at the heart of a realistic and granular understanding of foreign nations, peoples and what drives them. The U.S., highly nationalistic at home, is singularly disinclined to understand or care about nationalistic impulses in other countries. This may be an operational hazard of great power, the belief that it is only what we do that really matters in the end. We have helped create the conditions for our dangerous isolation; that in turn has led to wishful thinking and eventually to existence in our own American fantasyland and self-referential press about how we can control things.