“In a January 2006 debate, Yoo was asked if any law could stop the president, if he ‘deems that he’s got to torture somebody,’ from, say, ‘crushing the testicles of the person’s child.’ Yoo’s response: ‘I think it depends on why the president thinks he needs to do that.’

“In 2006, for instance, U.S. District Judge David Trager dismissed a suit by a thirty-five-year-old Canadian citizen, Maher Arar, who in 2002 was seized by U.S. government agents at John F. Kennedy Airport and delivered to Syria, where he was tortured for ten months before being released. No charges were filed against Arar, and his torturers eventually admitted he had no links to any crime. In explaining his dismissal, Trager noted with approval an earlier Supreme Court finding that such judgment would ‘threaten “our customary policy of deference to the President in matters of foreign affairs.” ‘

“It appears for the moment, however, that the people of the United States prefer the Roman approach and so will abet their government in maintaining a facade of constitutional democracy until the nation drifts into bankruptcy. … The American people will be forced to learn what it means to be a far poorer nation and the attitudes and manners that go with it.” (>>)