It took too long, but we the people finally recognized that the Japanese-American internment camps of World War II were un-American. It took two centuries for us to elect our first black president.

But if we now absolve ourselves from the need to pierce the most secret administration in our history to find out and account for all the rampant lawlessness and savagery that has been done in our name, the legacy we leave will encourage future administrations to ignore the law.

Back in June 2007, I heard a caller from Germany speaking on Tom Ashbrook's WBUR radio show in Boston: "I was an exchange student in America years ago, where I learned most of what I know about the rule of law and democracy in the United States. I am dismayed at what has happened to the American rule of law, giving up what we're fighting for."

What has happened to the rule of law, and what has happened to Americans?

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