January 23rd. 2006
I hope that Professor Laurence Tribe invented the anecdote reported in today's column by Bob Herbert in the New York Times (Page A23):
Sent to but not published in the New York Times
Laurence Tribe said: "I recently got a series of e-mails from someone, quite without invitation, that got rather scary in the sense that they started saying positive things about Osama Ben Laden. I asked the person in reply to stop e-mailing me, and I got an e-mail today saying 'Your request is permanently granted.' But in the meantime, granted or not granted, that could easily put me on some kind of targeting list."
If the anecdote is true then I am appalled that someone of Professor Tribe's stature, University Professor of Law at Harvard, would be cowed by the fear of being on an Administration watch list. The correct response surely is: "Bring 'em on!"
Surely an Administration that is so inept as to target Professor Tribe has completely lost touch with reality. But we really must resist, not succumb to the Administration's unconstitutional activities. We must remember Martin Niemöller's lament (in my updated form):
- First they came for the enemy combatants, and I did not speak out -- because I was neither an enemy nor a combatant;
- Then they came for those seeking or providing abortions, and I did not speak out -- because I neither sought nor provided abortions;
- Then they came for the Muslims, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Muslim;
- Then they came for the gays and lesbians, and I did not speak out -- because I was neither a gay nor a lesbian;
- Then they came for the buyers and borrowers of books, and I did not speak out - because I neither bought nor borrowed a book;
- Then they came for the e-mailers and bloggers, and I did not speak out -- because I was neither an e-mailer nor a blogger
- Then they came for the remaining non-Christians; and I did not speak out because I was not a non-Christian;
- Then they came for the non-Evangelicals, and I did not speak out -- because I was not a non-Evangelical;
- Then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Full Disclosure: In fact, I am a borrower and buyer of books, I am a blogger and an e-mailer, and I am a non-Evangelical Christian