Monday, February 06, 2006

Pop quiz

Q -- Which president pressured the state of New York to prosecute an editor for publishing mean -- but true -- stories about him ... and to claim that the truth or falsity of those claims was irrelevant, that freedom of speech simply didn't encompass "scandalous, malicious and seditious" material about the president, and that juries were empowered, in this case, to judge only the facts and not the law?

A -- Read all about it here.

Q -- Which president wrote the following:

"On great occasions every good officer must be ready to risk himself in going beyond the strict line of law, when the public preservation requires it; his motives will be a justification as far as there is any discretion in his ultra-legal proceedings, and no indulgence of private feelings. On the whole, this squall, by showing with what ease our government suppresses movements which in other countries requires armies, has greatly increased its strength by increasing the public confidence in it. It has been a wholesome lesson too to our citizens, of the necessary obedience to their government. The Feds, and the little band of Quids, in opposition, will try to make something of the infringement of liberty by the military arrest and deportation of citizens, but if it does not go beyond such offenders as [names elided], they will be supported by the public approbation."

A -- Here's the whole letter.

Surprised? Appalled? Me too.

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