"The constitutional right of free speech has been declared to be the same in peace and war. In peace, too, men may differ widely as to what loyalty to our country demands, and an intolerant majority, swayed by passion or by fear, may be prone in the future, as it has been in the past, to stamp as disloyal opinions with which it disagrees."
by:
Justice Louis D. Brandeis
(1856-1941) US Supreme Court Justice
Source:
Schaefer v. U. S., 1920
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Reader comments about this quote:
 -- Anonymous      
Very well said. It is perhaps the most dangerous thing in the world, to be right, when the government is wrong-- or to be right when the majority is wrong; especially during times of war. Too bad we no longer have a Republic, but a Democracy.
 -- Logan, Memphis, TN     
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    The war machine and its propaganda ministers are well versed in the use of words such as patriotism, loyal, freedom, and democracy. The public is ignorant to the reason for war and the reality behind decision making - we just go along under the banner of patriotism and loyalty to our leaders. The press is to frighten to provide discourse (opposition) as its finances are based on popular opinion and commerce (greed).
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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     -- Joe, Rochester, MI      
    Brandeis raises an issue with huge ripple effect. In our time this precedent has been so abused with the cliche that any expression of dissent from presidential policies aids and abets the enemy. The neocons mastery of discrediting dissent with an attack on ones patrioticism was only topped by the practice of imbedding the media in military units so there reporting turned into feel good stories about how great our troops are. Of course they are great, but hardly the point in covering the war. At this moment the only real victory we might be able to salvage is to act in our own self interest and bring out soldiers home and let Iraq have its own civil war.That would be true patrioticism.
     -- EGL, LA     
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    True enough for sure...however, there is such a thing as aiding and abetting the enemy...which is certainly not free speech and is much more than "opposition"....we should be very clear on that....ie NY Times! For what its worth...3000 dead and several tortured and beheaded is not propaganda. There is a real enemy out there...that should always be taken into consideration when one chooses to exercise their "right" of free speech.
     -- Michael, Houston     
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    We invaded a sovereign nation which was not at war with the US and a nation with no terrorists and we had no right to do that, period - no matter how you spin it we were lied to. The whole thing is a mess - I support our troops and want our boys and girls home now.
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
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    Right on Robert!
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
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    A far cry from GWB's threat: 'You are either with us or with the terrorists."
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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     -- jim k, austin      
    Free speech is an inalienable birthright identified through the Constitution. The birthright continues consistent with the noble being man through peace and conflict.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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