"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." President Theodore Roosevelt, 1918
"I believe that there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government..... Too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think it will give some comfort to the enemy.... If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned because the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country more good than it will do the enemy, and it will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur." Senator Robert Taft.
"In the name of protecting us, this administration is abandoning our historic values, cramping our personal freedoms, violating our privacy, making a mockery of justice and asserting a right for the president, as commander in chief, to ignore U.S. law if he wishes to." from the editorial by Tom Teepen in the Times Union.
Here are some more excerpts from Teepen's editorial, titled "Scrapping Civil Liberty in the Guise Of Patriotism."
"Is Bush really against torture? He is threatening to use his first veto if the House accepts a bill that would formally outlaw "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment" of prisoners. The legislation passed the Senate 90-9.
And Vice President Dick Cheney has been lobbying fiercely behind the scenes to carve out a specific exemption for the CIA if the legislation does move forward. Presumably the administration could then claim that the United States doesn't torture but the CIA just might, as if the agency were a mini-state itself that only happens to be in Washington, in U.S. government buildings staffed with U.S. government employees.
As you may have noticed by now, none of this makes any sense. And not only is it incoherent, it is worse than pointless. It puts the military at odds with its own proud traditions and sets up captured Americans for the same kind of treatment. The abuses have made our country a stink in the world."