August 4, 2003

THIS EDITORIAL in the Christian Science Monitor takes the Bush Administration to task for its handling of terrorist prosecutions to date. Meanwhile this column by Jacob Sullum takes the government to task for its “enemy combatant” detentions.

As Virginia Postrel notes:

In my mind, the single most important guide to security policy is that the government must never have the right to hold individuals within the United States, particularly (but not exclusively) citizens, secretly or incommunicado. That power inevitably turns first into the power to torture, and eventually into the power to detain and torture people whose danger to the general population is far less than their danger to the decision-making officials.

She’s absolutely right, of course. Sadly, the Bush Administration’s best friends in all this are those who have repeatedly cried wolf, and who now cast Bush as Hitler, thus discrediting the more serious civil libertarians who raise valid concerns like these.

UPDATE: Of course, a bigger point is that injustices aren’t limited to the terror war. In fact, they’re endemic.

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