A friend was doing some research on Lincoln and came up with these following items:
Lincoln was perhaps one of the most hated presidents in history. During his presidency, Lincoln appropriated himself unparalleled power. He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, spent money without congressional authorization, imprisoned thousands of suspected Confederate sympathizers without trial and routinely ignored the will of the people. One of the best examples of this was during 1861 when he knew he needed to keep the border state of Maryland in the union. Maryland's legislature was getting ready to vote for secession, so he ordered the entire legislature arrested and imprisoned to avoid the vote and keep Maryland in the Union. He knew he was ignoring the Constitution, but stood by his decisions, claiming, “ I felt that measures, otherwise unconstitutional, might become lawful by becoming indispensable to preserve the Constitution through the preservation of the nation. Right or wrong, I assumed this ground and now avow it.”
Deja vu, anyone?
What is it with these Republican Presidents and suspending basic civil rights and liberties?
I tend to think it was a good thing that the country remained united, but surely it could have been accomplished without such drastic measures.
I tend to think the war on terror is something we need to win (ie terror tactics need to be disavowed by all groups.) But I think our current way of going about that is creating a ground swell of support for terror tactics, not to mention that we're killing far more people than the terrorists ever did.
This is largely because we've misdefined the targets of the war on terror as being a group of people rather than a moral precept (it's a lot easier to kill people than to convince them their thinking is wrong headed...). To win the war on terror, we need to see a triumph of humanist thinking (ie every human life is precious and equally valuable), and a restoration of good will towards all. Starting with us. Our foriegn policy since WWII has spread death, poverty and corruption far more often than it has spread justice, prosperity, and improved living conditions. Until we realize that national security is attained by moral superiority, generosity, and negotiation rather than domination, military, political, or economic, we are going to continue losing the war on terror.