Wednesday, January 04, 2006

At least the NYTimes has some cojones

Finally, the New York Times defends itself.

And State of the Day posts a good quote on the subject from Michael Ignatieff. The original is here.

The key point is this: Living in a democracy, you accept certain risks. The price we pay for our freedom and liberties (and I don't mean that in a fatuous Bush-esque way) is that we take the risk that by not letting the government do certain things, we might find ourselves being harmed. Sure, if we wanted complete internal security, we could have it. We could let the government spy on us. We could let the government torture criminals and wrongdoers. We could chuck people who have even the slightest possibility of being dangerous (as criminals or as terrorists) into prison without trial. I'm sure internal security in North Korea is fantastic.

But we don't and we accept that we might pay a price because of it. That isn't to say we shouldn't be vigilant and careful, but if we buy Bush's argument that anything he wants to do is justified by national security, we hand unlimited, unfettered power into the executive. Once the rationale of breaking the law to protect security is accepted, then nothing the executive or the military or the police do cannot be justified. Little by little, we become the very model of what we purport not to be.

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