God bless America. Flags wave, fireworks burst on the horizon. Aren't we terrific? But this idea we celebrate -- this nation, this principled union of humanity -- is just a military bureaucracy, full of dark secrets.
The CIA, with the backing or orders of the White House, ran a worldwide network of secret prisons where it tortured men with barbaric techniques; kidnapped people from European streets; and then reportedly lied to Congress, the White House, and the Justice Department about it.
So powerful is the stigma of "terrorism" today that, in the name of "our security," whether in Great Britain or the United States, just about anything now goes, and ever fewer people ask questions about what that "anything" might actually be.
President Obama has closed the CIA's "black sites," But via rendition -- the sending of terrorist suspects to the prisons of countries that torture -- and related policies, his administration has outsourced human rights abuse to Afghanistan, Somalia, and elsewhere.
The government will not use any statements made by the suspect in secret prisons, nor will the evidence "be very different" from that used when his alleged co-conspirators were tried by the federal court in 2001.