Sometimes I get the sense that people are waiting for the skies to darken, as if the heavens will signal when we've become a repressive society; but that's not going to happen, and, in fact, it should already have happened. The difference between the U.S. now, and those repressive regimes is just one of degree: the policy, already implemented, of this government is for indefinite detention without charge; torture while in custody, and court proceedings which make use of information extracted by torture.
And more there too.
Be sure to read some of the comments, too. There’s one guy there defending tooth and nail the use of torture. It’s the usual babble that we’ve heard already from the likes of MP (whatever happened to him?)–e.g., “9/11 changed everything,” “Terrorists are moral reprobates who don’t deserve legal protection merely because they wouldn’t reciprocate these protections to us,” etc.
The whole point of having law is that it is not up to a president or any other individual to unilaterally decide when circumstances warrant departure. Even if the folks we’re fighting are heartless bastards who would kill their own mothers and eat their own children. So how is what we’re doing any different than situational ethics? Or put differently, can we now say that it’s okay to follow the law when it’s personally advantageous and avoid it when it gets too burdensome? Would anyone seriously want a government whose policy is determined by a principle like this? We joke that we can’t trust the government, but can anyone imagine the chaos that would ensue if people genuinely believed it too?
By the way, “situational ethics,” or amorality, is the antithesis of moral values.