A reader writes:

To answer your question: What are we going to do about it?

Sadly, the answer is: nothing. Nothing, because the mainstream media are unlikely to cover this for more than just a soundbite (Hell, they couldn't even stay focused on massacres in Burma, once Britney Spears lost custody of her children), and perhaps even more disturbingly, it seems that the majority of people in the country don't really have a problem with what you describe, as long as they think it's keeping them "safe".

This should be our defining national conversation. Every Democratic presidential candidate should be talking about it non-stop, and every pundit called to speak on 24-hour news channels should be bringing this up. Every blog post should be about this subject until it reaches a tipping point where the media HAS to talk about it. I just don't see that ever happening.

I have to disagree with Lederman - I do not think this will be seen as the blackest mark in our nation's recent history. I think that the nation has been irrevocably changed, and in a way that will not mark the change at all, much less portray it as "the blackest mark." The Constitution has been shredded, our laws are now circumvented, and the people did nothing. America does not care.

I cannot believe that. But I do believe that this must be a defining criterion for the next election. For me, it is a defining matter in the corruption of conservatism, which is why I placed it at the heart of a book, detailing Bush and Rove's sustained attack on the conservative tradition. When conservatives subvert the rule of law ... to enable torture, and when only one man gets to decide who gets detained and tortured, they are no longer conservatives. They are fascists. And they need not just to be defeated; they need to be repudiated.

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