But here’s the problem: If any of these dozen suspects gets convicted, do you know what will happen to them in prison
That’s a yes or no question. and the answer is yes. You do know — we all know. They will very likely be beaten and raped, repeatedly. They will, in essence, by be sentenced to torture, to cruel and unusual punishment. This violates the Eighth Amendment, and it violates basic decency. It is both illegal and inhuman. Like all torture, it is intolerable and counterproductive.
The fact that this torture will be administered at the hands of their fellow prisoners and not by officials of the state hardly matters, because the state is — we are — placing them into a situation in which we all seem to know that this is what will happen. The state’s hands are clean only in the meaningless technical sense that America’s hands are “clean” in cases of extraordinary rendition — when we ship terror suspects off to Syria or Saudi Arabia, outsourcing torture.