BLACK SITES….Dick Cheney, speaking for the Bush administration, is desperately opposed to John McCain’s anti-torture amendment unless it permits torture by the CIA. Here’s why:

The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.

The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries….The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA’s unconventional war on terrorism. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA’s covert actions.

….CIA interrogators in the overseas sites are permitted to use the CIA’s approved “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” some of which are prohibited by the U.N. convention and by U.S. military law. They include tactics such as “waterboarding,” in which a prisoner is made to believe he or she is drowning.

Read the whole thing. This system of “black sites” holds hundreds of prisoners; it has virtually no oversight; it would be illegal under American law; and it depends on torture (and rendition to torture-friendly countries) as routine practices.

It makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it?