Proponents of Bush’s kangaroo court say: Don’t you soft-on-terror, due-process types know there’s a war on? Have you forgotten our 5,000 civilian dead? In an emergency like this, aren’t extraordinary security measures needed to save citizens’ lives? If we step on a few toes, we can apologize to the civil libertarians later.
Those are the arguments of the phony-tough. At a time when even liberals are debating the ethics of torture of suspects — weighing the distaste for barbarism against the need to save innocent lives — it’s time for conservative iconoclasts and card-carrying hard-liners to stand up for American values.