…past generations to guide us through our blind rage…

And that leads to the larger point – the Bush administration’s abuses illustrate (in a concrete way) precisely why we should care about the rule of law. It’s a story as old as Ulysses. Law exists because man is weak, and captive to passions. We bind ourselves ahead of time to the mast, because we know we’ll be unreliable if, say, a couple dozen terrorists attack our cities.

Respecting the rule of law is about far more than promoting some abstract moral principle. It keeps us from screwing up when we’re mad – when we’re enraged. The aftermath of 9/11 is when we needed law the most. (Publius)

An interesting myth, maybe even an important one…

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