Wednesday, May 02, 2007

A free government should show its respect for freedom even when it has to take it away.

I have written before about the problem that the right wing faces wherein they could not get elected if the voters knew what they would be voting for. For this reason, it is vital for the wingers to confuse the voting public about its true agenda. But every once in a while a true believer makes the mistake of telling the unvarnished truth. Glenn Greenwald, points out one such candid piece and it is appalling.

A Harvard professor of government actually writes in that bastion of right-wingedness, the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, that:
Much present-day thinking puts civil liberties and the rule of law to the fore and forgets to consider emergencies when liberties are dangerous and law does not apply [...] In some circumstances I could see myself defending the rule of law," but "the rule of law has two defects, each of which suggests the need for one-man rule."
These people are such cowards! They are so willing to throw away freedom when faced with the slightest threat to their security. Wasn't it Franklin who said something like: those who would give up their freedom for security, do not deserve, nor will they have, either.

Glenn writes in conclusion:
That is why -- as jarring as it is -- it is actually necessary to ask presidential candidates whether they intend to exercise the power to imprison American citizens with no charges of any kind. The dominant political movement in this country believes in that power and has defended and exercised it. Mansfield's beliefs may be twisted and tyrannical and radical and profoundly un-American. But they are also the beliefs that have propelled our government for the last six years and -- absent some serious change -- very well may continue to propel it into the future.

[...]

Much of the intense dissatisfaction I have with the American media arises out of the fact that these extraordinary developments -- the dominant political movement advocating lawlessness and tyranny out in the open in The Wall St. Journal and Weekly Standard -- receive almost no attention.

While the Bush administration expressly adopts these theories to detain American citizens without charges, engage in domestic surveillance on Americans in clear violation of the laws we enacted to limit that power, and asserts a general right to disregard laws which interfere with the President's will, our media still barely discusses those issues.

They write about John Edwards' haircut and John Kerry's windsurfing and which political consultant has whispered what gossip to them about some painfully petty matter, but the extraordinary fact that our nation's dominant political movement is openly advocating the most radical theories of tyranny -- that "liberties are dangerous and law does not apply" -- is barely noticed by our most prestigious and self-loving national journalists. Merely to take note of that failure is to demonstrate how profoundly dysfunctional our political press is.

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