Principles before politics

Phil Windley, in The Conservative View on Guantanamo: “…a position consistent with basic conservative philosophy would argue for human rights and due process — not against it.”

It’s good that thoughtful conservatives like Phil are examining what went wrong with an administration that turned out to be conservative in label and loyalty, but not in principle. Looking forward to more of that.

Bonus Quote, by Thomas Paine, arguing amidst the French Revolution against the execution of King Louis XVI: “An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates his duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.” Via Harry Lewis.


  1. vanderleun’s avatar

    To paraphrase H. L. Mencken, you will get it. Good and hard.

  2. Don Marti’s avatar

    Our national security establishment needs to be way more conscious of how this kind of stuff plays for the terrorist recruiting efforts. “Be the man so dangerous that they have to put you in a secret prison!” sounds way, way more glamorous than “get locked up in an ordinary federal prison in a cell with a guy who got caught stealing checks out of the mail!”

  3. Marc’s avatar

    Just to show how picky I can be: Paine was referring to Louis XVI not XVII. Louis XVII never got to be king as he died as a child in jail during the French Revolution.

  4. Harry Lewis’s avatar

    Louis XVI, not XVII 🙂

  5. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Harry. I knew better. That was a typo — an especially frustrating one because for some reason I couldn’t get back in the blog and change it easily.

    Fixed now, though.

  6. Doc Searls’s avatar

    Thanks, Marc.

    The story of Louis XVII is even more depressing than those of his parents.

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