every one of us is in charge of the U.S. gulags

Benamar Benatta, in an undated Federal detention facility photograph

This sort of thing will disgrace us all forever.

NEW YORK - An Algerian man believed to be the last domestic* detainee still in custody from a national dragnet after Sept. 11 — and who was cleared of links to terrorism in November 2001 [my italics] — was set free this week, his lawyer said Friday.
If a nation describes itself as a democracy, just as every citizen shares in the credit for its government's accomplishments each must be considered complicit in its crimes, both foreign and domestic. We are all prison warders and we are all military commanders.

The awesomeness of this shared responsibility would be terrifying even in time of peace, but today we are altogether incapable of dealing with it: We don't want to face the fact that there are no civilians in America at this time, that we all look like legitimate targets to the enemies we have accumulated around the world, so let's just go shopping.

a very important qualification, whose reality and significance Americans can no longer escape

[image from washingtonpost.com]