I think Andrew….
I think Andrew Sullivan is just right in his run-down of what is now
emerging about the system of secrecy, torture and extra-constitutional
power the Bush administration has set up at Gitmo and other far-flung
undisclosed locations around the world.
Like Andrew (at least I suspect this is so, though he can speak for
himself), I'm a good deal less doctrinaire on civil liberties issues
than, I suspect, many of the readers of this site. As Justice Jackson
put it, the constitution is not a suicide pact. And a lot of the things
that were done in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 were, I think,
justifiable in theory, if not always in execution.
But what stands out about this administration is not the willingness
to sacrifice certain civil liberties safeguards in the face of
demonstrable necessity, but the eagerness and almost delight in doing
so. Having walled themselves off from the more harmless varieties, this
is apparently the one form of transgression the Ashcroftites cannot
Most telling is the addiction to secrecy. The clearest, or rather
the most basic, test of whether strong measures are compatible with a
free society is whether the government is willing to be open with the
public about what it is doing in their name. By every measure, this
administration is not. [Talking Points Memo: by Joshua Micah Marshall]