Alex Knapp is depressed by the Obama administration's treatment of Bradley Manning - and America's behavior in general since the September 11 terrorist attacks:

We have gone from being the first country that established the principle that prisoners of war should be treated respectfully to a country that operates black sites and sends prisoners to other countries to be tortured–when we don’t torture them ourselves. In the American Revolution, the number one cause of death for American soldiers was Halfstaff maltreatment and disease in British POW camps. In the Civil War, Andersonville was a cause of national outrage. In the early 20th century, the United States emphatically supported the adoption of the Geneva Conventions. In World War II, German soldiers happily surrendered to Americans in the West, knowing they’d be well treated. But in the East, they fought the Russians to the last man because they knew they wouldn’t be.

Now, in the 21st century, we send robot planes to bomb civilians in a country that’s ostensibly an ally. We have prisons where people are routinely denied basic essentials, denied due process, are maltreated and tortured. We reverse decades of tradition and not only have legalized assassination, but have legalized assassination of United States citizens. And there’s no outrage on Main Street. There’s no outrage in Washington. There’s only outrage on the internet. And half the internet rage is coming not from the acts themselves but rather partisan bullshit surrounding them. (“You only hate torture when Bush does it!” “You only hate it when we do it to white people!” “Nuh-uh!” “Uh-huh!”)

He goes on to recall that the first time he voted in a presidential election, "no part of my consideration of any of the candidates had to do with whether they wished to torture people or assassinate American citizens. It didn’t have to be, because it wouldn’t cross anybody’s mind to have a position on it."

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