Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“If our fathers, in 1776, had acknowledged the principle that a majority had the right to rule the minority, we should never have become a nation; for they were in a small minority, as compared with those who claimed the right to rule over them.”     Lysander Spooner

October 23, 2007

Quote Of The Day: Winston Churchill Edition

by Doug Mataconis

I heard this one at a legal seminar I attended today.

It’s from Winston Churchill in 1943, but it seems especially appropriate to America in 2007:

[T]he great privilege of habeas corpus, and of trial by jury, which are the supreme protection invented by the English people for ordinary individuals against the State . . . —The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law and particularly to deny him the judgement of his peers—is, in the highest degree, odious and is the foundation of all totalitarian governments . . . Extraordinary powers assumed by the Executive with the consent of Parliament in emergencies should be yielded up, when and as, the emergency declines . . . This is really the test of civilisation.

—Winston S. Churchill, Cable to Home Secretary Herbert Morrison from Cairo (Churchill responds to critics over the decision to release accused Nazi collaborator Oswald Moseley), Nov. 21, 1943. Reproduced in The Second World War: Closing the Ring (1952)

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  1. Specifically: that cable is found at p. 679 of the first edition. The whole of Appendix A, Book Two, is devoted to “The Release Of The Mosleys — Constitutional Issues”. It’s only two and a half pages, but well worth the read.

    Comment by Billy Beck — October 24, 2007 @ 2:08 am
  2. 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11 9/11

    bah, just shoot me now

    Comment by Greg — October 24, 2007 @ 7:27 am

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