Live Free Or Die, Ctd.

A reader writes:

Thank you. After struggling with the "torture issue," those were exactly the conclusions I’d come to. It really is simple.

Number One: The government of the United States of America is torturing human beings.

Number Two:  The "evidence" gained from this torture, from any torture, is deeply suspect. We have sold our soul for nothing.

Number Three: We should be willing to die for the freedoms we hold so dear. We should be willing to die for the Constitution. From the beginning, we have asked Americans to spend their lives to preserve the ideals of liberty. Yet today, we hysterically trade those ideals for fleeting security. We tell ourselves not to worry about the Constitution, or habeas corpus, because American lives are worth more than that.

They are not.

I would add a fourth: we didn't exactly decide these things at all. They were decided for us - and for generations of Americans and Westerners - in secret, by a handful of people, pushed through against the law, against the advice of many decent people in the government, and then lied about systematically. Yes, by re-electing the Decider, we perpetuated it, and we knew what was at stake at the time. But this was ultimately a function of ceding the rule of law to the rule of one man - not for a one-off emergency, but permanently, indefinitely, because this war has no end, and the Republican establishment believes that the president has no limits on his power in a permanent state of war.