Holding “history’s actors” to account (one day)

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Ever ask yourself: how does this administration think it can get away with so obviously authorizing the abuse of war on terror detainees and then denying responsibility? Well, complete disregard for the press and distraction seem to work fairly well. Recall what reporter Ron Suskin was told back in 2002 by a White House aid:

We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.

Thing is, if we study close enough, and keep a good paper trail, some of “history’s actors” just might end up in jail. In that spirit, I direct you to Emily Bazelon, Phillip Carter, and Dahlia Lithwick’s “Interactive Primer on American Interrogation,” a compendium of documents that charts the evolution of detainee abuse. When the system finally crashes, following this trail back to its origins just might lead us back to some of the morals and values that we left behind when we began the war on terror.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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