Andrew Sullivan On Freedom

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Lest we forget what we’re fighting for, Sullivan reminds us:

I’m not suggesting that no liberties should be surrendered to counter the real threat of terror. I’m arguing that any surrender of freedom must be clearly justified in each case and openly discussed. I’m saying the courts and parliament and Congress are not threats to the war, but a critical part of making it work. Freedom dies by increments; and a freedom-loving people must be especially vigilant in wartime. Lincoln understood this as profoundly as Churchill. Like Churchill, his record was not perfect, but he grasped what he was fighting for, even as his own country was melting down in a brutal civil war. Asked by a supporter to suppress a hostile newspaper at the height of the conflict, he replied: “I fear you do not fully comprehend the danger of abridging the liberties of the people. Nothing but the sternest necessity can ever justify it. A government had better go to the extreme of toleration, than to do aught that could be construed into an interference with, or to jeopardize in any degree, the common rights of its citizens.” If Lincoln could say this in the middle of a national insurrection, why cannot Bush and Blair say it today?

One a scale from 1 to “this rocks”, I’d give it a “this rocks“.

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