... it was in that much-heralded speech at the Republican convention that Palin tossed off a line I found more disturbing than anything unearthed about her since. It got a predictably enthusiastic response from the keyed-up partisan crowd."Al-Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America," said Palin, and then, referring to Barack Obama, quipped: "He's worried that someone won't read them their rights."Quite apart from the cheap distortion of Obama's position, typical of most campaign rhetoric, this is a classic lynch-mob line. It is the taunt of the drunken lout in the cowboy movie who confronts a sheriff barring the prison door - He wants to give 'im a trial? It is the precise sentiment that Atticus Finch so memorably sets himself against in Harper Lee's masterpiece To Kill a Mockingbird, when he agrees to defend a supposedly indefensible black man charged with rape (falsely, as it turns out).I wonder if Palin really believes her own position on this. I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was just a speechwriter's idea of a great applause line, perhaps she hasn't fully thought it through. The sentiment is on the wrong side of a deep principle, one that we have long honored in this country, that has to do with basic fairness, the rule of law, and ultimately with standing up intelligently to terrorism....http://www.philly.com/inquirer/currents/20080921_The_Point__...
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