A reader writes:

I served in the Marines as a young man. I was stationed in Japan and saw duty in  Okinawa, the Philippines and throughout the Caribbean. I was willing at that time to sacrifice my life for the country if called upon  (hoping, of course, that such a call would not come.) My willingness was predicated upon a belief that America was different, not only different, but better than other countries and that we offered the people of the world a vision which they could follow to a better way of doing things.   

The other day I heard the president's press secretary condemning the Burmese dictators for holding people in secret jails without charges. I was saddened to think that we were no better than them.  What would I think now if I were in the Marines?  What do we offer the world that is different than any benighted country?   

Tragically, Andrew, it is not just Bush but Congress and the federal courts that folded the tent on what was right about the country.

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