Sunday, April 21, 2013

Quotable: Laws Are Not Situational

"'A nation' he heard himself say, 'consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.'"

- William Gibson, Spook Country

Spook Country is the one of the three books in Gibson's latest trilogy that addresses our response to 9/11 most directly.

This quote seems appropriate to me today, when we have US Senators openly advocating for denying a US citizen his rights.


  1. Anonymous8:37 AM

    This quote seems appropriate to me today, when we have US Senators openly advocating for denying a US citizen his rights.

    Not to disagree with your larger point, but it's amusing that everyone is getting upset with the Republican senator when it's the Obama administration that actually deprived the suspect of his Miranda rights...

    1. As far as I've heard so far, the suspect hasn't been questioned yet, as he is still not recovered enough for that to happen. But I haven't read the news yet today.

      If the Obama administration goes beyond invoking the public safety exception to the Miranda rule (which is already established law), then I will also be disgusted with them.

      Right now, I am disgusted with senators going on Twitter advocating treating and American citizen captured on American soil as an enemy combatant, which would deprive him of a lot more rights than not reading him the Miranda statement.

      And just to be obnoxiously pedantic- as long as he remains in the criminal justice system and not in whatever limbo labeling him an enemy combatant would drop him into, he still retains the right to remain silent, whether anyone reminds him of that or not.

    2. Anonymous2:46 PM

      Ah, I assumed you were referring to the public safety exception because that to me is already a stretch. When it comes to civil liberties, the Obama administration has been a huge disappointment (whereas I expect Lindsay Graham to say something idiotic).

    3. I don't know enough to know whether I think the public safety exception is a stretch in this case. Since the suspect is currently under sedation and hasn't been questioned, I'll wait and judge the Obama administration's response when we actually see what that response will be.


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