I see legality as somewhat beside the point in today’s America. It seems to me that the national security complex has entered—without the rest of us—a post-legal America. We know this from the President’s unwillingness, for instance, to prosecute anyone from the Bush years for acts of torture, and from the fact that no act—with the single exception of whistleblowing (i.e. letting the American people know what their government is doing)—has landed anyone in that world in a court of law. As far as I can see, under Bush and Obama, the national security state is no longer accountable to American justice; so, “is it legal?” is a question that’s increasingly beside the point and out of date, which tells you the world about us in 2012.
Tom Engelhardt: Drone Warfare and the United States of Fear