Tuesday, May 27, 2008

No Winston Churchill He

Bush supporters like to compare Bush to Winston Churchill. When you've recovered from your laughter at this, we'll look at what the real Winston Churchill said.

In 1943, when Home Secretary Morrison decided to release the British fascist Moselys, Churchill, in a memo to the Home Secretary, supported this decision with these words: "The power of the Executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him judgement by his peers for an indefinite period, is in the highest degree odious, and is the foundation of all totalitarian governments...It is only when extreme danger to the state can be pleaded that this power may be temporarily assumed by the Executive, and even so its working must be interpreted with the utmost vigilance by a Free Parliament....As the danger passes, persons so imprisoned... should be released...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." (Appendix F of Volume V of Winston S Churchill's The Second World War)

That's the real Winston Churchill- not a man determined to seize all power by the issuing of secret ultimatums suspending habeus corpus on the flimsiest of pretexts, but a man determined that any power granted by a Free Parliament (his emphasis) for irregular detention should be always monitored by that Free Parliament, and repealed, not when all danger had passed, but when the extreme danger had passed.

Winston Churchill- a man for the ages. George Bush- not so much.

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