|I cannot accept, your canon that we are to judge pope and king unlike other men, with a favorable presumption that they do no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way against holders of power ... Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
|Everything secret degenerates, even the administration of justice; nothing is safe that does not show how it can bear discussion and publicity.
|A question arises whether all the powers of government, legislative, executive, and judicial, shall be left in this body? I think a people cannot be long free, nor ever happy, whose government is in one Assembly.
|The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution,
are worth defending at all hazards;
and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks.
We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors:
they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure
and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation,
enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us
by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them
by the artifices of false and designing men.
|Stroke of the pen. Law of the land. Kinda cool.
|W. Lance Bennett
|Perhaps the most obvious political effect of controlled news is the advantage it gives powerful people in getting their issues on the political agenda and defining those issues in ways likely to influence their resolution.
|Justice Louis D. Brandeis
|Decency, security, and liberty alike demand that government officials shall be subjected to the same rules of conduct that are commands to the citizen... If the government becomes a lawbreaker, it breeds contempt for law; it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy.
|Sir Thomas Browne
|The mortalist enemy unto knowledge, and that which hath done the greatest execution unto truth, has been a preemptory adhesion unto authority.
|If you are as happy, my dear sir, on entering this house as I am in leaving it and returning home, you are the happiest man in this country.
|Gaius Julius Caesar
|All bad precedents began as justifiable measures.
|John C. Calhoun
|To maintain the ascendancy of the Constitution over the lawmaking majority is the great and essential point on which the success of the [American] system must depend; unless that ascendancy can be preserved, the necessary consequence must be that the laws will supersede the Constitution; and, finally, the will of the Executive, by influence of its patronage, will supersede the laws ...
|William Ellery Channing
|The cry has been that when war is declared, all opposition should therefore be hushed. A sentiment more unworthy of a free country could hardly be propagated. If the doctrine be admitted, rulers have only to declare war and they are screened at once from scrutiny.
|It will be necessary for us to be a nation of men, and not laws.
|Sir Winston Churchill
|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.
|The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charges known to the law, and particularly to deny him judgment by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian governments...Nothing can be more abhorrent to democracy than to imprison a person or keep him in prison because he is unpopular. This is really the test of civilisation.
|Quintus Tullius Cicero
|During war, the laws are silent.
|We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans...
|Council on Foreign Relations
|[A] possible further difficulty is cited, namely, that arising from the Constitutional provision that only Congress may declare war. This argument is countered with the contention that a treaty will override this barrier, let alone the fact that our participation in such police action as might be recommended by the international security organization need not necessarily be construed as war.
|Clarence S. Darrow
|When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I'm beginning to believe it.
|Watch out for the fellow who talks about putting things in order! Putting things in order always means getting other people under your control.
|War is the trade of Kings.
|Frederick the Great
|I begin by taking.
I shall find scholars later
to demonstrate my perfect right.
|If you want a Big Brother, you get all that comes with it.
|We operate here under directives which emanate from the White House... The substance of the directives under which we operate is that we shall use our grant making power to alter life in the United States such that we can comfortably be merged with the Soviet Union.
|William Henry Harrison
|The plea of necessity, that eternal argument of all conspirators.
|Without law and order our nation cannot survive.
|Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.
|The end cannot justify the means for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.
|It is to be regretted that the rich and powerful too often bend the acts of government to their selfish purposes.
|Why suspend the habeas corpus in insurrections and rebellions?
Examine the history of England. See how few of the cases of the
suspension of the habeas corpus law have been worthy of that
suspension. They have been either real treasons, wherein the parties
might as well have been charged at once, or sham plots, where it was
shameful they should ever have been suspected. Yet for the few cases
wherein the suspension of the habeas corpus has done real good, that
operation is now become habitual and the minds of the nation almost
prepared to live under its constant suspension.
|The concentrating [of powers] in the same hands is precisely the definition of despotic government. It will be no alleviation that these powers will be exercised by a plurality of hands, and not by a single one.
|No man will ever bring out of the Presidency the reputation which carries him into it.
|Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
|One of the greatest casualties of the war in Vietnam is the Great Society ... shot down on the battlefield of Vietnam.
|Having so pledged myself, and having been elected to my senatorship upon such pledge, and not having been elected to create an organization to which we would give a promise, either express or implied, that it would have the authority to send our boys all over the Earth, I cannot support the Charter. I believe it is fraught with danger to the American people and to American institutions.
|I have been told I was on the road to hell, but I had no idea it was just a mile down the road with a Dome on it.
|My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause.
|Any single man must judge for himself whether circumstances warrant obedience or resistance to the commands of the civil magistrate; we are all qualified, entitled, and morally obliged to evaluate the conduct of our rulers. This political judgment, moreover, is not simply or primarily a right, but like self-preservation, a duty to God. As such it is a judgment that men cannot part with according to the God of Nature. It is the first and foremost of our inalienable rights without which we can preserve no other.
|General Douglas MacArthur
|Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear - kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervour - with the cry of grave national emergency. Always, there has been some terrible evil at home, or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it by furnishing the
exorbitant sums demanded. Yet, in retrospect, these disasters seem never to have happened, seem never to have been quite real.
|War is in fact the true nurse of executive aggrandizement.
|Neil A. McDonald
|Whatever the immediate gains and losses, the dangers to our safety arising from political suppression are always greater than the dangers to the safety resulting from political freedom. Suppression is always foolish.
|These things I believe: That government should butt out. \\
That government should butt out.\\
That freedom is our most precious commodity and\\
if we are not eternally vigilant, government will take it all away.\\
That individual freedom demands individual responsibility.\\
That government is not a necessary good but an unavoidable evil.\\
That the executive branch has grown too strong,
the judicial branch too arrogant
and the legislative branch too stupid.\\
That political parties have become close to meaningless.\\
That government should work to insure the rights of the individual,
not plot to take them away.\\
That government should provide for the national defense\\
and work to insure domestic tranquillity.\\
That foreign trade should be fair rather than free.\\
That America should be wary of foreign entanglements.\\
That the tree of liberty needs to be watered from time to time\\
with the blood of patriots and tyrants.\\
That guns do more than protect us from criminals;\\
more importantly, they protect us from the ongoing threat of government.\\
That states are the bulwark of our freedom.\\
That states should have the right to secede from the Union.\\
That once a year we should hang someone in government\\
as an example to his fellows."\\
|Col. Oliver North
|I would have promised those terrorists a trip to Disneyland if it would have gotten the hostages released. I thank God they were satisfied with the missiles and we didn't have to go to that extreme.
|Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions.
|The dangers of a concentration of all power in the general government of a confederacy so vast as ours are too obvious to be disregarded.
|Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves.
|William Pitt, Sr.
|Unlimited Power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it.
|The people have always some champion whom they set over them and nurse into greatness… This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs, when he first appears he is a protector.
|When the tyrant has disposed of foreign enemies by conquest or treaty, and there is nothing more to fear from them, then he is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.
|Bruce D. Porter
|Throughout the history of the United States, war has been the primary impetus behind the growth and development of the central state. It has been the lever by which presidents and other national officials have bolstered the power of the state in the face of tenacious popular resistance.
|General Colin Powell
|Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.
|General Colin Powell
|So our record of living our values and letting our values be an inspiration to others I think is clear.
And I don't think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world.
We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we've done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home ... to live our own lives in peace.
|The rising power of the United States in world affairs ... requires, not a more compliant press, but a relentless barrage of facts and criticism ... Our job in this age, as I see it, is not to serve as cheerleaders for our side ... but to help the largest possible number of people to see the realities.
|What will follow will not be a repeat of any other conflict. It will be of a force and scope and scale that has been beyond what has been seen before.
|Senate Report, 93rd Congress
|Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency....Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may: seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communication; regulate the operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens. ...
A majority of the people of the United States have lived all of their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of national emergency....from, at least, the Civil War in important ways shaped the present phenomenon of a permanent state of national emergency.
|The Executive should be able to repel and not to commence war.
|L. Neil Smith
|People who object to weapons aren't abolishing violence, they're begging for rule by brute force, when the biggest, strongest animals among men were always automatically 'right.' Guns ended that, and social democracy is a hollow farce without an armed populace to make it work.
|Neither your life nor my life, nor the future of this country, will be affected in the slightest by whether Linda Tripp is naughty or nice. But if any president is able to commit crimes with impunity by using the vast powers and perquisites of his office to cover up, then we will have a danger of corruption and abuse of power that can only grow with the passing years and generations.
|Hunter S. Thompson
|It was the Law of the Sea, they said. Civilization ends at the waterline. Beyond that, we all enter the food chain, and not always right at the top.
|It bothers me that the executive branch is taking the amazing position that just on the president's say-so, any American citizen can be picked up, not just in Afghanistan, but at O'Hare Airport or on the streets of any city in this country, and locked up without access to a lawyer or court just because the government says he's connected somehow with the Taliban or Al Qaeda. That's not the American way. It's not the constitutional way.
|...the Patriot Act followed 9-11 as smoothly as the suspension of the Weimar constitution followed the Reichstag fire.
|For in a Republic, who is "the country?"
Is it the Government which is for the moment in the saddle?
Why, the Government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant;
it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong,
and decide who is a patriot and who isn't.
Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.
|Why does the Air Force need expensive new bombers? Have the people we've been bombing over the years been complaining?
|The contest, for ages, has been to rescue Liberty from the grasp of executive power.
|No power but Congress can declare war, but what is the value of this constitutional provision, if the President of his own authority may make such military movements as must bring on war?
|Another source of power in government is a military force. But this, to be efficient, must be superior to any force that exists among the people, or which they can command; for otherwise this force would be annihilated, on the first exercise of acts of oppression. Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretense, raised in the United States. A military force, at the command of Congress, can execute no laws, but such as the people perceive to be just and constitutional; for they will possess the power, and jealousy will instantly inspire the inclination, to resist the execution of a law which appears to them unjust and oppressive.