Star Chamber.  Lettres de cachetLos desaparecidos.  I used to wince at the counter-productivity of such hyperbole.  No longer.

Jim and his crew have some sober thoughts, including the not-useless perspective that the Republic has been stained by previous outrages and returned to sanity.  Dahlia, however, points out the truly depressing aspect of Congress’s vote: up until now, the Bush Administration’s extraordinary rendition, secret gulags, and pervasive culture of "smacky-face" were unilateral, exigent, and certain to be found illegal.  Now, in a breathtaking lunge of hubris and cynicism, Bush has bluffed Congress into making it legal.  Our Generalissimo asked if he needed to justify the detention of "enemy combatants" or let them have a trial, and Congress—we, the people—said "No, thanks."

I don’t really know what to say about this; before all Americans—those who came before and shed their blood against George III, Jefferson Davis, and Hitler; and those yet to come who will look back with contempt—I feel a deep and abiding shame.  Letting this wound demoralize us into apathy is surely Rove’s fondest hope, yet decency requires a moment of mourning and anguish—it simply hurts too much.

In due time, we shall remember the 253 and the 65, as will history.  I cannot say who will be less forgiving.

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