ROPER: So now you’d give the Devil benefit of law!
MORE: Yes. What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
ROPER: I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
MORE: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you —where would you hide, Roper, the law all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast–man’s laws, not God’s—and if you cut them down–and you’re just the man to do it—d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.
— A Man For All Seasons–Act One, Robert Bolt
I’m suprised that, as far as I can tell, noone’s mentioned (or at least that tons of people aren’t shouting it out all the time):
So today, we’re ready to fix things so that people can be declared by some person in the government as a danger to the state (or the people, if you like), and then, without any kind of benefit of due process, be put away indefinitely without any recourse to any kind of higher authority–without any chance to prove that they’ve been accused either mistakenly or unjustly, just on the word of whatever person in the government has decided that they’re a danger. (“Just trust me/us.”) Just dissappeared—-
Now it’s “enemy combatants,” “picked up on the battlefield” (the definition of the term “battlefield,” presumably, including an airport lounge in Newark on your way home to Canada).
What about when it’s gay right activists or anti-war activists or—name your favorite danger to the state…
The idea that such a thought could ever be taken seriously in the Congress of the United State of American is grotesque almost beyond imagining… let alone that it could become law….