To the editor:
Not long ago President Bush compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, which naturally prompted comments along the lines of, "how dare he compare himself to such a great American president as Lincoln." And, you know what? I agree. Because if Bush was like Lincoln, anybody who spoke out against the war in Iraq would find themselves in prison.
What is he talking about?
Well, you see on Sept. 24, 1862, good ol' Honest Abe suspended the most basic of democratic rights, that of habeas corpus, the right of an individual to be brought before a judge or court.
The president had bullheadedly dragged the nation into a war that soon lost its novelty and patriotic passion. (Sound familiar?) To squelch his opposition, he operated as if the entire North were under martial law. Newspapers were suppressed, editors were arrested and unreasonable search and seizures were made in direct violation of constitutional rights.
In Kentucky, Democrats offered a ticket of candidates calling for an end of the war. Lincoln arrested the candidates in two congressional districts and one candidate for state legislature.
U.S. Rep. Clement L. Vallandegham from Ohio spoke out against Honest Abe and was promptly tried, convicted and sentenced to prison.
In 1863, more newspapers were suppressed in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Iowa.
Honest Abe was responsible for the arrest and imprisonment of thousands citizens simply speaking out against the war.
So President Bush, like President Lincoln? No, thank God. And you liberals should be glad that he isn't.