01/12/2006: A Delicate Balance of Liberties and National Security...
Bob Herbert (NY Times): “The Lawbreaker in the Oval Office”:
“…It has become fashionable to say that this controversy is about the always difficult problem of balancing civil liberties and national security. But I think the issue is starker than that. The real issue is President Bush's apparent belief - stoked at every opportunity by that zealot of zealots, Dick Cheney - that he can do just about anything he wants (mistreat prisoners, lock people up forever without filing charges), and justify it in the name of fighting terror.
"There's an enemy out there," said Mr. Bush.
That's also true. But this is not China or the old Soviet Union. The United States should be the one place on the planet where even a devastating terror strike by Al Qaeda is unable to shake the foundations of the government, which is grounded in the rule of law, the separation of powers and a constitution that guarantees the fundamental rights of the citizenry.
President Bush and others in the administration have repeatedly argued that the president's wartime powers trump some of the important constitutional guarantees and civil liberties that Americans had previously taken for granted. They don't seem to see the irony of fighting on behalf of liberty in Afghanistan and Iraq while curtailing precious liberties here at home.
The administration should not be allowed to use war as an excuse. The U.S. is a very special place in large part because no one, not even the president, is above the law.”
Karen on 01.12.06 @ 07:48 AM CST