Last night, a western democracy did the unthinkable: the US Senate voted to effectively legalise cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of suspected terrorists. While its not stated so bluntly in the act, that is the net effect of setting a threshold for "cruel treatment" which exceeds that required for torture, granting the President blanket authority to decide the meaning of the Geneva Conventions, and forbidding any judicial review of the conditions of detention. Along the way, they also voted to allow the President to designate people "enemy combatants" on a whim, deny them a fair trial, use coerced "evidence", and to grant an effective amnesty to the US torturers who obtained it. The bill is not quite law - it has still to be signed by the President - but it's a done deal. The beacon of freedom which has been burning for the last 230 years has gone out.
No more posts today; I'm simply too depressed. If America can betray itself in this fashion, then we're all fucked.