"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 judgment of his peers,
is in the highest degree odious and is the foundation
of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."
Sir Winston Churchill
(1874-1965) Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
November 21, 1943
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Reader comments about this quote:
Throughout history, we witness the suspension of habeus corpus as one of the first signs of tyranny.
 -- E Archer, NYC     
    I agree with E Archer....its also one of the first things done when the war is in the homeland...ie Lincoln. This points out the great danger of the times we live in...and the great wisdom we must use to defeat the insidious threat among us but to preserve all we hold dear. Freedom lost is not easily regained...but then again, lives don't come back either. God bless to all
     -- Michael , Houston     
    Read Lord Acton for more on this subject - this my dear friends is why a liberal education is paramount with regards to our continued existence. Those who think liberal is a dirty word need to go back to school and look it up the the dictionary.(not the modern version)
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    ... or 21st century United States of America...
     -- Anonymous, Reston, VA US     
    Kudos Robert. When exactly did 'liberal' become a dirty word anyway? Does anyone wonder who is ACTUALLY running the country? Could it actually be our Alfred E. Newman? Could it be interests outside of the US? It seems not entirely unlikely.
     -- Terry Berg, Occidental, CA     
    A fine truth and truths are not responsible for who expresses them. It's a pity Churchill excluded Iranians, Arabs and Indians in his statement during the British control of Iran and India.
     -- Dick Trice, Fort Worth     
    Since when do prisoners of war have the right to a speedy trial? The war on terror will result in many more prisoners taken, who should be held until it is convenient to dispose of them according to the conditions of that time. If they want to stay free, let them stay at home. If they are of American citizenship, try them today and hang them tomorrow.
     -- David L. Rosenthal, Hollywood, FL     
    The answer to David's question "Since when . . . ?" is; since we've had a Constitution and since we signed on to the Geneva Convention - it's the law of the land and the law of war. Inserting the issue of a 'speedy trial' is a cavalier amendment of the quote in question which makes no mention of 'speedy', speedy.
     -- Anonymous     
    Excellent Anonymous but now you see the dilemma - do you think we stand a chance against this kind of undercurrent? or should we just switch off the light...
     -- Robert, Sarasota     
    You are wrong
     -- Tina, Rochester     
    You are wrong -- Tina, Rochester . What the HELL does that mean? Don't understand the need for due process? You must be tired after composing that half-sentence. Take a rest!
     -- Chris Mankey, Minneapolis     
    Tina needs to be thrown in jail indefinitely without the benefit of a lawyer or of due process and then we'll see how long it takes her to change her mind about the whole situation. Fantastic quote by the way.
     -- tracker, planetEarth     
    Hey DAVID according to YOUR president these people are not pow's this is the whole justification for denying them even the most basic human rights. And by the way I do "stay home" how does this guarantee my freedom? Are we americans free from spying or free to speak unless herded into a "free speach zone" or even free to vote and to be sure our vote is counted or counted accurately.Are we protected from "illegal searches and seizures " secret imprisonment or torture? " Try them today and hang them tomorrow "is how you put it why try when you have already convicted and sentenced them? You should show your conviction to this statement by enlisting and donating all of your assets to the effort.
     -- Disgusted, once called america     
    Bush has done more to erode the wonderful liberties and rights provided by the Constitution & Bill of Rights than Osama, Benito, Adolph combined.
     -- Paul, Anaheim     
    Welcome to the Union of Socialist America where the Obamunist has made popular the Nazi take over play book once again and even exceeded the Bushes..
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    Take THAT George W Bush!
     -- Ben, Orem, UT     
    And good grief people, just because someone attacks Obama doesn't mean he is pro-Bush. There really isn't much difference. Don't start pulling a Waffler.
     -- Ben, Orem, UT     
    When there is no due process, under "any" circumstances, the law becomes whatever they say it is on any given day. Again, never give up the power to defend yourself. The enemy within just might not be a terrorist after all...
     -- J Carlton, Calgary     
    I've mentioned before that an attorney friend was driving a U-Haul full of his recently departed mother's household items when he was pulled over, put in jail with no charges, and the truck confiscated. Luckily my friend was talking to his brother (another attorney) at the time he was pulled over. Several days later my friend was able to get to court (straight from jail) and the officer tried to justify his actions under the Patriot Act. My friend was lucky; one of the tactics of the executive is to keep people in vans and other forms of transit so they can not be found to even get to court. It is really getting scary out there. It doesn't look like it is going to be very long before this quote's full application will be realized.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
    If a cop stops you and finds a speck of Hemp in your car , he can take your car on the spot and doesn't even have to arrest or charge you with a crime. No "Due Process' necessary. If you are carrying a few hundred dollars in cash, your money can be confiscated as "fruits of a drug deal". It's now a crime in this country to carry cash over a few dollars. Think I'm wrong ? Read "Bad Trip" or "Drug Crazy". Stuff like this is why we call 'em "Police States", and our country is just that. LEAP.CC
     -- jim k, austin     
    Robert - liberal became a dirty word when "liberals" first claimed that for a label. The word was then perverted beyond recognition from its true meaning. There is absolutely nothing liberal about "liberals".
     -- warren, olathe     
    With tongue in cheek I say, Nah, it could never happen in America. We're free and our government works for us.
     -- Anon     
    Excellent Sir Winston Churchill. But this is just what's happening in our beloved Island in the form of the EU and it's European Arrest Warrant. Our Government has thrown away the key to Brussels. Yahovah help us all.
     -- Corinna, United Kingdom     
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