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The Baltimore Sun has an excellent editorial that should get read more widely than it probably will.  Here is a part of it, go to the Baltimore Sun page and read the rest of it!

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July 4, 2007

Besides all his other gifts, Thomas Jefferson appears to have been prophetic.

In his first presidential inaugural address in 1801, he ticked off a long list of essential principles of government, featuring highlights of the Bill of Rights, and called preservation of the government “in its whole constitutional vigor” the “anchor of our peace at home and safety abroad.” These principles “should be the creed of our political faith,” he said. “Should we wander from them in moments of error or of alarm, let us hasten to retrace our steps and to regain the road which alone leads to peace, liberty and safety.”

Such moments of error or alarm have sent the government off on dangerous tangents from time to time over the years – but rarely with more wide-ranging consequences than the course embarked upon after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. On this 231st anniversary of Jefferson’s eloquent Declaration of Independence from British rule, the United States is desperately in need of restoring the rights and freedoms surrendered in a false bid for security that has perversely put the nation at greater risk.

Consider what has been lost.

Sweeping federal measures, most of them heavily cloaked in secrecy, have robbed Americans of privacy, due process of law, even freedom of movement. Warrantless wiretaps, e-mail surveillance, national security letters secretly demanding information on thousands of citizens and, soon to come, the equivalent of national ID cards – all would be abominations to Jefferson.

America’s suspected enemies have fared worse. They have been tortured, held indefinitely without charge and spirited away to secret prisons abroad so no one knows who they are or what has happened to them.

The United States has been fortunate to have suffered no terrorist attacks since 9/11, but there’s little evidence that any of these extraordinary measures have had anything to do with that. What they have done is to further isolate the United States at a time when the war in Iraq has left America with no global good will to spare. And Iraq has now become a proving ground for development of terrorist weaponry, such as the roadside bomb, and tactics.

Read the rest here.

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