THERE ARE MANY RIVERS TO CROSS before we get to the dance of the damned where demagogues again appeal to fear while they condemn those who lament the loss of liberty. Bush is still president and Rudy Giuliani would like to be. If there are two men who have milked the sad cow of September Eleventh more, somebody tell me please.
WHEN THE MILKING IS DONE we will still have our tears, perhaps finally dry. We have seen a river of tears running along the Hudson. We have seen a river of woe along the Potomac. We have known true patriots who defend rather than attack. We know who cries true for lost soldiers and lost liberty. We have seen enough of lost soldiers to know a river of tears will not wash them back. We will not be governed by demagogues who say they defend liberty, but then attack it when we turn our backs.
THE PATRIOT IS SEEN in the word and in the act and scoundrels are as well. A president who thinks he shouldn’t have to take the time to get a warrant before he can spy on you now says no time may be lost. The Patriot Act must be approved . . . so we can spy on you. The Senate as a legislative body is but meant to approve the emperor's dicutms.
Yet a minority of senators filibustered to block the renewal of the Patriot Act when it came up for a vote yesterday. That decision is irresponsible, and it endangers the lives of our citizens. The senators who are filibustering must stop their delaying tactics, and the Senate must vote to reauthorize the Patriot Act. In the war on terror, we cannot afford to be without this law for a single moment.
WE HAVE EACH had our single moment of sadness that goes on forever more within. Bush says we can’t wait until our enemies from without strike again. The Patriot Act Giuliani says was carefully considered was voted on without debate. The fool is quick to judge while the tongue of the wise will let his words wait. Bush must think us fools, as though we don’t know the law.
AT LEAST BUSH MENTIONED the law, the law he didn’t respect when he decided laws mean nothing if you are a war time president. It is hard to figure what Bush seeks to remind us of more to scare us, that we are at war, or that he is president. He’s a war president. Damn it.
To fight the war on terror, I am using authority vested in me by Congress, including the Joint Authorization for Use of Military Force, which passed overwhelmingly in the first week after September the 11th. I'm also using constitutional authority vested in me as Commander-in-Chief. In the weeks following the terrorist attacks on our nation, I authorized the National Security Agency, consistent with U.S. law and the Constitution, to intercept the international communications of people with known links to al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations.
SOME MIGHT OFFER a message to Bush as we step lively in our dance of the damned. The demagogue should know: Just because you say it doesn’t make it so. Warrantless searches and spying are not consistent with U.S. law nor with the Constitution. We the people deserve better and it’s time you remembered that people don’t forget. We have cried a river of tears for the lost and drowned in your rhetoric, your duplicity and bad faith. I would not tell you to cry me a river and tell you to drown in that damned river for all your lame protest, but others less patient just might. And they might tell Giuliani the viper Il Douchebag to go to hell too.
MORE ON BUSH AND SPYING OOPS, HE’D DO IT AGAIN Only unamerican activities can save America, folks. Bush sounds like a little boy unappreciated.
Appearing angry at points during his eight-minute address, Bush said he had reauthorized the program more than 30 times since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and plans to continue doing so. "I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al-Qaida and related groups," he said.
THE HERETIK NOTES COMMANDER IN CHIEF, war forever, spying forever, President challenged. And he’s angry. Bush does not get it.
Reacting to Bush's defense of the NSA program, Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., said the president's remarks were "breathtaking in how extreme they were." Feingold said it was "absurd" that Bush said he relied on his inherent power as president to authorize the wiretaps. "If that's true, he doesn't need the Patriot Act because he can just make it up as he goes along. I tell you, he's President George Bush, not King George Bush. This is not the system of government we have and that we fought for," Feingold told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. The president had harsh words for those who talked about the program to the media, saying their actions were illegal and improper. "As a result, our enemies have learned information they should not have," he said. "The unauthorized disclosure of this effort damages our national security and puts our citizens at risk."
SO THE QUESTION IS who is the enemy? And who is putting our citizens at risk? Those questions remain for us to answer. When Bush was done with his Saturday radio address, he took no questions.
STILL MORE ON the question Bush looks less and less likely to answer. NY TIMES ASKSthe question today: But Mr. Bush did not address the main question directed at him by some members of Congress on Friday: why he felt it necessary to circumvent the system established under current law, which allows the president to seek emergency warrants, in secret, from the court that oversees intelligence operations. His critics said that under that law, the administration could have obtained the same information.
STATE SECRETS TRUMP JUSTICE Sibel Edmonds’ September Eleventh whistleblower case was rejected without comment by the Supreme Court. Edmonds had claimed key pre attack Arabic translations were bungled by the government and then covered up. Charges of espionage and security breaches followed. When Sibel Edmonds persisted in pressing forward, she was fired. Herwhistle blower case has been distinguished by the government’s unwillingness to show its case in public.
THE GOVERNMENT CLAIMS states secrets privilege more than it admits, sixty times since the concept was born in the McCarthyite, anti communist hysteria of the Nineteen Fifties. In most instances, the state secrets privilege has been used to prevent certain pieces of evidence from entering court. As evidenced in the Edmonds case, the Bush Administration is expanding scope by seeking dismissal of entire cases. National security turned out not to be the issue in the first case that formed the basis for thestate secrets privilege doctrine, United States v. Reynolds. What was argued as a case involving secret military equipment and national security 50 years later turned out to be shoddy maintenance of the United States B-29 fleet.
IN THE EDMONDS CASE testimony given to Congress in open session was later retroactively classified. The way the Bush Administration uses the state secrets privilege the truth may be classified forever.
AND LACK OF CONVICTION now reveal themselves in the Bush administration’s all too late capitulation to American concepts of justice in the JosePadillacase. At the last moment, in order to avoid review of its shameful treatment of a United States citizen, the government charges Padilla for far less than it originally claimed. Pathetic. Even now the government claims Padilla may not have the right to confront his accusers nor to call witnesses in his defense because of what “the enemy” might find out about what we know and how we came to know it. The reality has nothing to do with the enemy. Or perhaps reality does. All the citizens of America and the entire world would learn what our leaders have done in our name.
IN BAD FAITH George Bush is at war with America. In bad faith George Bush wages war on all American values in a perverse and twisted logic, where cruelty is a kindness American given to the world with other hand, the hand held in the shadows as Bush holds up the fire of freedom in another. In bad faith Bush Prometheus would protect us from all enemies to the American way, but he cannot protect us from himself. In bad faith Bush’s professions for freedom only profane the word and its principles. Even as Bush and his awful acolytes profusely speak of protecting our piece of heaven here on earth, they engage the methods of hell. Cruelty, deception and deceit, savagery and secrecy are not the icons of a City on a Hill, the beacon of freedom to the world. In bad faith George Bush wages war on civilization itself.
IN BAD FAITH George Bush now seeks to avoid his Final Judgement. In attempting to remove Padilla’s case from the docket before the Supreme Court, George Bush seeks to remove from discussion what would surely be the center of unholy war on terror. If Padilla’s treatment were found unconstitutional, the whole edifice of Bush’s methods would be shaken to the ground. At its most base, the idea of unlimited presidential executive power would fall. If the center cannot hold, its satellite attendant abuses of American ideals embodied in the Patriot Act would fall on top of it.
WE THE PEOPLE MIGHT discover that the Fourth Amendment to the Contitution in the end is the card that trumps all previously played that would throw in man in jail without legal counsel for over three years without charge and have tortured American justice.
IN BAD FAITH Bush believes that if he has no Supreme Court judgment against him, then he can continue on with his torture abuse of American ways. May he soon learn he cannot.
RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL READING [Newsday] . . .at least now Padilla will have a chance to challenge accusations that he conspired with four others to provide material support to terrorists and commit murder overseas, charges contained in the indictment. He will finally have the benefit of fair-trial rights guaranteed by the Constitution, now that the government will have to prove its case. No citizen taken into custody in the United States should be deprived of those rights as Padilla has been. So the Supreme Court should accept the appeal filed on his behalf last month and answer the question it posed: "Does the president have the power to seize American citizens in civilian settings on American soil and subject them to indefinite military detention without criminal charges or trial?" The administration, clearly hoping to avoid a Supreme Court showdown, announced the indictment just days before a deadline to file its legal arguments. Officials insist the issue is moot now that Padilla has been charged. But it's not. Padilla's circumstances have changed, but one key legal issue hasn't. If it's left unresolved, then Padilla, or any other citizen branded an enemy combatant, could be picked up and held for as long as George W. Bush or any subsequent president desires. If Bush's power isn't checked, then, even if Padilla is found not guilty by the federal court in Florida where he's to stand trial, authorities could simply walk him from the courthouse door right back into a military brig. The nation needs an unequivocal ruling on the limits of presidential power in this context, and it's up to the Supreme Court to provide it. THE HERETIK NOTES Bush who was a cheerleader in high school seeks to avoid the other team’s slam dunk victory. How much of this wasting of basic human rights is an attempt by Bush to make up for a wastrel youth is left to others.
WHAT BUSH HAS WROUGHT WITH TORTURE [Liberty Street] From this news, we can draw two conclusions: First, after spending so much time rewriting and reinterpreting the meaning of domestic law and international agreements to permit the U.S. to torture detainees in the war on terror, it turns out the Bush administration doesn't trust the credibility of information obtained under torture enough to use it in court. They know it's not reliable. They know torture is morally wrong, evil, barbaric, and uncivilized. And they know that the American court system would not stand for a prosecution based on "evidence" gained through torture. Second, IF Padilla did have ties to Al Qaeda; IF the Justice Department's case against him had merit; then the Bush administration has destroyed that case by using torture to obtain evidence. Put another way, the Bush administration has seriously damaged this country's ability to bring suspected terrorists to justice, and thus has gravely compromised U.S. national security. So there you have it, folks. The president who used the Bill of Rights for toilet paper; and who has made the name of the United States synonymous with contempt for human rights -- all for the supposed purpose of protecting Americans' safety -- has killed the U.S. government's ability to successfully prosecute alleged terrorists.
THE HERETIK NOTES even Bush’s methods are at war with his ends. The ends may justify the means, but mean methods mean the means invalidate the ends. Somewhere Lord Acton laughs, sardonically
SWEET LAND of liberty compromise. The american people lost another compromise. Most of the Patriot Act will remain shoved down our throats. The win for those who favor the United States Constitution is that the FBI will have to do a little after the fact reporting on how it used National Security Letters to sneak into the homes of people who have nothing to do with the “terrorism” the law was we were set up to believe the law would fight. [story]
House and Senate negotiators struck a tentative deal on the expiring Patriot Act that would curb FBI subpoena power and require the Justice Department to more fully report its secret requests for information about ordinary people, according to officials involved in the talks. The agreement, which would make most provisions of the existing law permanent, was reached just before dawn Wednesday. . . . The 2001 Patriot Act removed the requirement that the records sought be those of someone under suspicion. As a result, FBI agents can review the digital records of a citizen as long as the bureau can certify that the person's records are ''relevant'' to a terrorist investigation.
THE FBI MUST ALSO SUBMIT “a statement of facts” to get at business record showing “reasonable grounds” and a connection to a foreign government in a search. Everything else in the Patriot Act is in and liberty is out.
YOUR GOVERNMENT HAS A MESSAGE for you. The Fourth Amendment rights you have to be secure in your home and person, to be subject to search only but upon probable cause no longer apply. The government doesn’t even have to tell you when you have been searched. [story]
The FBI now issues more than 30,000 national security letters a year, according to government sources, a hundredfold increase over historic norms. The letters -- one of which can be used to sweep up the records of many people -- are extending the bureau's reach as never before into the telephone calls, correspondence and financial lives of ordinary Americans.
DON’T BOTHER telling it to a judge. You have no appeal. And some bureaucrat doesn’t’ need to go to a judge to get the goods on you. The National Security Letter is the greatest threat to your personal security. And it comes not from some foreign power, but from the unbridled power of your government.
Issued by FBI field supervisors, national security letters do not need the imprimatur of a prosecutor, grand jury or judge. They receive no review after the fact by the Justice Department or Congress. The executive branch maintains only statistics, which are incomplete and confined to classified reports. The Bush administration defeated legislation and a lawsuit to require a public accounting, and has offered no example in which the use of a national security letter helped disrupt a terrorist plot.
BAD GETS WORSE Even the innocent can now expect their personal information to shoot out into all branches of government.
The burgeoning use of national security letters coincides with an unannounced decision to deposit all the information they yield into government data banks -- and to share those private records widely, in the federal government and beyond. In late 2003, the Bush administration reversed a long-standing policy requiring agents to destroy their files on innocent American citizens, companies and residents when investigations closed.
GET USED TO IT. We are all screwed. If you get a National Security Letter, you are forever gagged from saying anything about it. If James Sensenbrenner has his way and if you do reveal you received an NSL, you can go to jail.
MORE ON National Security Letters here. A lighter touch here.
KILL THIS BILL Death continues to be a growth industry in the United States. Some last minute additions to the House version of the new Patriot Act revision are raising eyebrows. [story]
If all 12 members of a jury in a capital case in federal court cannot agree on whether to impose the death penalty, a convicted defendant is automatically sentenced to life in prison.
But that may be about to change. A little-noticed provision in the House bill that reauthorized the antiterrorism law known as the USA Patriot Act would allow federal prosecutors further attempts at a death sentence if a capital jury deadlocks on the punishment. So long as at least one juror voted for death, prosecutors could empanel a new sentencing jury and argue again that execution was warranted.
IT GETS WORSE not just for defendants that might have gotten off ‘easy’ as they join the largest prison population in United States history. The government wants the right to kill more and more of us under legal cover. [story]
The bill also triples the number of terrorism-related crimes eligible for the death penalty, adding, among others, the material support law that has been the core of the government's legal strategy against terrorism.
TERROR HAS NEVER been more nebulous. Just what fits as terror these days keeps expanding. And the dying may grow too.
"These are radical changes in the way federal death penalty cases are litigated, and they were added virtually without any debate," said Jennifer Daskal, U.S. program advocate for Human Rights Watch.
BE VERY CAREFUL about who you donate your charity money to. It could come back to haunt you.
Under the proposals, 41 crimes would be added to the 20 terrorism-related offenses now eligible for the federal death penalty. Prosecutors would also find it easier to impose a death sentence in cases in which the defendant did not have the intent to kill.
In one example cited by Human Rights Watch, "an individual could be sentenced to death for providing financial support to an organization whose members caused the death of another, even if this individual did not know or in any way intend that the members engage in acts of violence."
THE HERETIK NOTES much of this could not happen without the support of Senor Senseless, the Duke of Diapers, James Sensenbrenner. MORE: [Makikthise] Do Overs
From T Chris at Talk Left: As Jesselyn McCurdy, the ACLU’s legislative counsel, argues, “If there is one person who has a doubt about whether someone should be put to death, that should be doubt enough.” And if the Justice Department can’t convince a jury to impose death after taking its best shot, it shouldn’t be permitted to keep shooting.”
THE HERETIK ASKS IF we do not allow citizens to be tried for the same crime twice, why is the government pushing so hard for death, this Javert like justice? In the guise of fighting terror, are we descending into a Reign of Terror?
SOMETHING DOESN’T RING TRUE Right after the first specious dichotomy that you are either “With us or against us” is the idea that our most valued American liberties are somehow inimical to our security. Nothing annoys The Heretik more than people who call defenders of freedoms fools or traitors. If you want to be truly secure, move into a jail. No one from the outside will have a chance to bother you. In the new Fortress America, we need to worry about the people who are too worried. CALL ME CRAZY, but most Americans like to be left alone. And the Patriot Act challenges the very freedoms it theoretically defends. Jeralyn Merritt at TALK LEFT cites NICHOLAS VON HOFFMAN on the random searches in the New York subways.
[VON HOFFMAN] If random searches of people in the subways are being done for anything except political effect, it’s nonsense. The decision to search is a confession of helplessness. It is saying that the police and Homeland Security don’t know who the enemy is, so maybe they can get lucky and spot one among the thousands racing to catch the A train. Analyze it: The chances of seizing a terrorist in the middle of rush hour are almost zero. If the authorities had any idea who the would-be terrorists are or where they’re lurking or what kind of terror weapon they intend to use, they would grab them and clap them onto an airplane for “rendition” to some far-off place where the ACLU cannot get at them. The Patriot Act, the bewildering reorganizations of the various federal police and intelligence organizations, the billions spent on electronic claptrap, the studies, reports and surveys by the commissions, committees and agencies have netted us next to nothing in the way of enhanced safety. THE HERETIK SAYS: I’LL TAKE THE FOURTH, THANK YOU The FOURTH AMENDMENT of the U.S. Constitution is under attack in this country. The Patriot Act and the unfortunately named Department of Fatherland Homeland Security are the intrusions on our liberty that if accepted as normal now, will only become more grotesque as time goes by. It starts with random bag checks in a New York subway. And then what? Short story from The Heretik: A free society is worth the risks. The alternative is to throw ourselves in a jail of our own making and possibly throwing away the key.
ONE TALK LEFT (JUST PAUL) COMMENTER COMPLAINS about the ACLU never having solutions:
While I don't think it's impossible that these "random" searches will actually catch anyone trying to carry a bomb onto a train (stranger things have happened), I'll agree that they are, for the most part, window dressing intended to make people feel safer.With that said, this kind of never ending carping about civil liberties does raise some questions: How should those responsible for stopping terrorist attacks from succeeding act to fulfill their obligations? What form of surveillance is constitutional? Would non-random searches (meaning you ride the subway, you get searched first) be acceptable? And yes, I know, the ACLU doesn't concern itself with anything so prosaic as offering real suggestions on how to protect us all; their only concern is our civil liberties, and as long as we have those, it doesn't matter if we're dead. But surely some of the great minds here can offer something more than complaints.
JUST PAUL SOUNDS REASONABLE. Such arguments are seductive in their simplicty, a false OCCAM'S RAZOR that might slice the Fourth Amendment to shreds.
I'll take that as a "no", as in, "No, I have nothing constructive to say and prefer to remain ignorant and afraid of my own government. The ACLU is right; I would rather be dead than have my tote bag searched before I get on the train."Fair enough, Squeaky prefers to be dead than to suffer a moment's inconvenience. I can respect that attitude, although it's a shame that such a position will get everyone else on the same train killed.Now, is there anyone here who can offer a constructive comment, or is this a naysayers only gathering?
JUST PAUL, JUST PAUL, JUST PAUL is just giving us the argument that we can be free or we can be dead. Governments historically doe the simplest things to get the quickest results. Whether the “results” achieved accomplish the goal is another question. Still we are left with a loss of liberty and at what cost?
WHERE DOES THE HERETIK START? First lost is respect for those who would be free. On top of that consider the cost of searching every person on the New York subway everyday. And if it happens on the New York subway, why not everywhere else in America? And imagine where all those dollars spent on “security” might else where go?
AND FURTHERMORE: "Carping" somehow suggests that defending civil liberties is almost unAmerican. Those who complain about "carping" forget the supreme law of the land. It is interesting that those who believe in right and wrong as absolutes so freguently view our civil rights as relative. If you want to go with that "Ends justifies the means" argument, why not go further and say that civil rights only apply when they are convenient? Move into the jail now, throw away the key.
I AM FOND OF THE FOURTH AMENDMENT: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
ONE REASON I am so fond of the Fourth Amendment is because I know the authority that must pause before breaking down doors will most likely break down less of the wrong doors. And search less of the wrong people.
A FREE SOCIETY PAYS A HIGH PRICE when authority without a check is given a free hand. We are less free. Check our founding documents for why the Founders thought liberty so important. And finally, something needs to be said about this "ACLU should come up with solutions" McKrap of an attack. Let's think of the ACLU as a defense lawyer for the people who need it most. It is not the function of a defense lawyer to come up with "solutions," but to defend. Those who ask defenders to "solve" a problem must know that would take time and energy away from defense, thus weakening defense of liberty.
IT MAY SEEM ODD TO SOME, but law enforcement officials and agents work within a government of laws, not men. No less than the criminals they seek, law enforcement agents must respect the law, or no law truly exists. The Fourth Amendment to the constitution is the law of the land. THE GREATEST THING WE CAN DO is do what we have always done, to not let fear ruin the simple joy and the exquisite glory of our everyday lives.
RED WHITE AND VERY BLUE IS THE FEELING YOU GET WHEN LAWMAKERS BLOW, When They Blow in the Wind Blowing Over From LONDON, When Times Are Tough and Lawmakers Bend at The Knee to a False “Security” Rather Than Stand for Liberty. The SENATE extended some troubling provisions of the PATRIOT ACT, but not for as long as the HOUSE. Differences between the HOUSE BILL and SENATE VERSION will be resolved in CONFERENCE. With all the bluster that blows now, someone should explain how all the intrusions of SECTION 215 square with the FOURTH AMENDMENT to the United States Constitution. Plain and simple, no matter what your lawmakers do in times of blowing winds, what they do now is unconstitutional in conception and all too righteous in its deception.
All is not lost, no matter how much our "leaders" have lost it in taking us down this dubious path. Senate and House have still to meet in conference before a bill can go before Bush to make his mark. There is still time for citizens to be heard. So get in touch with your leaders who have lost touch.
RECOMMENDED READING [PINKO FEMINIST HELLCAT] "We should not be required to live in peacetime under the extraordinary laws that were passed during times of war and crisis. Emergency powers of investigation should not become the standard once the crisis has passed," he [Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-California] said, drawing applause from his colleagues. This is exactly what Big Daddy Government Suit is trying to do. Keep the sense of crisis up, the sense up panic up to red. That way we can stand for human rights by ignoring them, fight for democracy by supporting anti-democratic governments, and fight for freedom by destroying it.
[SOCIATAS] I have no objections to political junkies getting their fix. But now
would be a good time to take brief break from bingeing. Your country
really does need you. Chances are, to be brutally honest, nothing you
do over the next few days will make a huge difference either way with
Rove or Roberts–not unless you have access to information that even
Patrick Fitzgerald or the White House does not. But you can make a huge
difference–as a citizen and as blogger–with the Patriot Act
[SEEING THE FOREST] A tad on the rude side, but Sociatus is spot on. This is the real
battle and we've been flanked by the wingnuts. It's time to get a move
[BILLMON] In some cases, deliberations on Patriot Act renewal themselves have been classified, and closed to both the public and the press. More grist for the Orwellian mill. I'm not sure when these constitutional abominations are supposed to
reach the House and Senate floors. But Sociatas is urging people to
contact their elected "representatives" (I can think of some better
words) as soon as possible. He includes links to a couple of ACLU pages
that allow you to email or look up the phone number for your Senator or People's Deputy.
Just Trust Us Is What Authorities Say When They Do Things in the Dark They Would Prefer You Not See in the Open. Secrecy is the cover under which authority does sad deeds. Secrecy is the death pall over the body politic of a free society. Secrecy shuts the door on an open society. The loss of an open society is the continuing unstated price we pay for our “security.” Some say that is an open and shut case not worthy of further open discussion.
What distinguishes the greatness Americans cherish is our openness to the dream, to the aspiring immigrant, to all that might be. What might be great in America, what we aspire to, and the dream itself are all being crushed by how we now treat our immigrant newcomers in the certain provisions of the Patriot Act. Some will say “we” are safe so long as certain restrictions and punishments apply to “them.” The unquenchable hunger for “security,” however, is rarely a rational and satisfied urge. That hunger chews at the less well legally armed immigrant and soon seeks the citizen who presumes he has better legal legs and constitutional guarantees to stand on. We who thirst for justice and liberty are left with our mouths slackjawed and dry.
People new to the language of the legal landscape will be shocked how some of our laws translate to the immigrant. The STORY of the threat of suicidal girls in teenage girls chatroom has been told here before. For those who have forgotten, more on that HERE. The more RECENT STORY of now unthreatened HINDU GRANDPARENTS was brought to my attention HERE. Another TALE of the hungry dog that would keep us safe, but might devour us all comes HERE. Be careful what magazines you put out on the reading table. You can do things legally almost twenty years ago only to find out what you did then is “illegal” now. You may not be found guilty of a crime, but if you are an immigrant you can suffer still a bad fate: deportation. Some will say so what: we who have been here will never go there.
Constitutional guarantees are well and good, but they are regularly challenged by well intentioned men who enact ill conceived laws. Constitutional guarantees are great and noble, but they must be protected from well intentioned men who unknowingly attack the liberties and rights they swear to defend. If we do not defend the less well armed now, we will find our legal legs less strong later. If we do not see how others are openly and “legally” abused, we may find our own courts closed to our arguments later. We who aspire to the heights in the future should not descend any further in a slide to the despicable and discredited, intolerant ways of the past. We must not forget each of us has the immigrant within us. We must remember to treasure the liberties and rights a free society cannot do without. In moments of crisis and weakness, we must find the strength to hold true to our best selves. We must find protection from our special agent “defenders.”