A great philosopher and statesman comments on the Bush-Obama tweaks to the Constitution

Summary:  The Bush-Obama tweaks to the Constitution include claims that Americans’ rights stop at the border.  Once outside we become subject to indfinite detention or even assassiation without warrant, charge, or conviction — based only on unsupported assertions of the President and his minions.  We have the words of a great philosopher and statesman to guide us on the matter.

Edmond Burke’s Letter to the Sheriffs of Bristol (1777) — Excerpt:

The main operative regulation of {this} act is to suspend the common law, and the statute Habeas Corpus, (the sole securities either for liberty or justice) with regard to all those who have been out of the realm, or on the high seas, within a given time. The rest of the people, as I understand, are to continue as they stood before.  I confess, gentlemen, that this appears to me as bad in the principle, and far worse in its consequence, than an universal suspension of the Habeas Corpus act; and the limiting qualification, instead of taking out the sting, does in my humble opinion sharpen and envenom it to a greater degree.

Liberty, if I understand it at all, is a general principle, and the clear right of all the subjects within the realm, or of none. Partial freedom seems to me a most invidious mode of slavery. But, unfortunately, it is the kind of slavery the most easily admitted in times of civil discord; for parties are but too apt to forget their own future safety in their desire of sacrificing their enemies.

People without much difficulty admit the entrance of that injustice of which they are not to be the immediate victims. In times of high proceeding it is never the faction of the predominant power that is in danger: for no tyranny chastises its own instruments. It is the obnoxious and the suspected who want the protection of law

… {G}reat determined measures are not commonly so dangerous to freedom. They are marked with too strong lines to slide into use. No plea, nor pretence, of inconvenience or evil example (which must in their nature be daily and ordinary incidents) can be admitted as a reason for such mighty operations. But the true danger is, when liberty is nibbled away, for expedients, and by parts.

Posts about our government’s assassination programs (directed at citizens)

  1. Code red! The Constitution is burning.,  August 2010
  2. An Appalling Threat to Civil Liberties and Democracy, 8 August 2010
  3. Every day the Constitution dies a little more, 1 September 2010
  4. What do our Constitution-loving conservatives say about our government’s assassination programs?, 2 September 2010

Lessons and even advice from the past — and notes from the future

  1. Our futures seen in snippets of the past, 16 June 2008
  2. America’s grand strategy: lessons from our past, 30 June 2008
  3. President Grant warns us about the dangers of national hubris, 1 July 2008
  4. de Tocqueville warns us not to become weak and servile, 21 July 2008
  5. Let’s look at America in the mirror, the first step to reform, 14 August 2008
  6. Can Americans pull together? If not, why not?, 29 August 2008
  7. Dr. Gulliver explains why America has become so fearful of the future, 23 October 2008
  8. The King of Brobdingnag comments on America’s grand strategy, 18 November 2008
  9. About the state of economic science, and advice from a famous economist, 8 December 2008
  10. Words of wisdom about the global recession, from the greatest economist of our era, 29 December 2008
  11. Napoleon’s advice to President Obama about the financial crisis, 29 April 2009
  12. A wonderful and important speech about liberty, 23 July 2009
  13. A warning from Alexis De Tocqueville about our military, 7 August 2009
  14. Another note from our past, helping us see our future, 16 September 2009
  15. A note from America’s diary: “My power proceeds from my reputation…”, 22 September 2009
  16. Seeing today through the eyes of a future historian, 25 September 2009
  17. The SecDef gives the definitive analysis of the situation, a must-read, 30 December 2009
  18. A lesson from the Weimar Republic about balancing the budget, 10 February 2010
  19. France gives us tips for the Afghanistan War, from their successful role in the American Revolution, 11 March 2010

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