A reader says it better than I could:

You mention Glenn Reynolds' concern about applying the new torture law to citizens, but there's a bigger point to be made here. One of the many problems with this law is the way it was forced through Congress. Until Thursday, nobody even knew what the language said. They held no committee hearings. They just wrote it up, forced it through, and passed it before the Congressional session ended, because Bush wanted to ensure he could muck up the definition of a war crime before the Democrats took over Congress and made it difficult to pass a bill, and because Karl Rove thought this would be a great issue to run on in the 2006 elections.

The point is, conservatives and right-leaning libertarians like Reynolds who express concern over this or that provision in the bill (even if they are much more amenable to the major goals of the legislation) really have no standing to say a thing about it, because I saw no protests from any of those websites regarding the process by which this bill was being shepherded through the Congress, which anyone with any intelligence should have realized was going to result in a bill with a bunch of bad provisions in it.

All they would have had to say is "let's think about this a bit, hold some hearings, write a good bill". But the problem is, doing that would have kicked it past the election. Ergo, no issue for the Republicans to run on, and possibly no Republican Congress after the election to attempt to immunize Bush and his subordinates from war crimes liability.

These folks, by their silence, cared more about the political aspects of this than they did about the legislative process. And then they have the gall to say that they think that some of the provisions of the bill went too far.

On issues as grave as habeas corpus and torture, these people couldn't even call for a delay to make sure we knew what we were doing. That's how deferent they are to politics before principle.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.