In the bar we're gin and scotching
While the FBI is watching
They are tape recording every other word
The bartender is bleeding
Pardon me, I just was leaving
as another clever voice repeats absurd
But not Miranda
No, that Phil Ochs lyric is about a fictitious woman, not Ernesto Miranda or the eponymous rights that have been bestowed upon us all, were we ever to be arrested. Well, almost all.

A college roommate of mine once pointed out to me what should have been obvious: the McCarthy Era wasn't insidious and destructive because it destroyed innocent lives of people who were not Communists. Some of them WERE Communists. What was most destructive was its use of fear to create fear, perpetuate fear, and use it for political gain, and to clamp down on civil liberties. So too with the "War on Terror...."

All murderers and bombers have the right to remain silent, because anything they say can, and will, be used against them. All bombers and murderers have the right to an attorney. When we grant Constitutional Rights selectively, we reduce the probability that you or I will be protected by the same rights, if ever we have the misfortune of needing them, guilty or just accused.

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