Much has been written about the denial of due process for the five men who claim to have been victims of the extraordinary-rendition program. But equally disturbing is the message that this verdict sends to individual American citizens, like the former Jeppesen employee, who felt a call to conscience that made him speak out, even at the risk to his own future employment, because he believed that secret kidnapping and torture were crimes in a country founded on the idea that all people, not just Americans, have inalienable rights, including protection from cruel and inhumane punishment. That his allegations could receive a public hearing in the press, but not a legitimate hearing in the American system of justiceeven under an Administration headed by a former professor of constitutional lawis a daunting reflection of the clout wielded by the national-security bureaucracy in Washington, in the age of the Long War.
Those with consciences must now know: it wasn't the Bush administration alone that treated you with contempt. It's now the Obama administration as well.
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