January 23rd. 2006
Sent to but not published in the New York Times

I hope that Professor Laurence Tribe invented the anecdote reported in today's column by Bob Herbert in the New York Times (Page A23):

Laurence Tribe said: "I recently got a series of e-mails from someone, quite without invitation, that got rather scary in the sense that they started saying positive things about Osama Ben Laden. I asked the person in reply to stop e-mailing me, and I got an e-mail today saying 'Your request is permanently granted.'  But in the meantime, granted or not granted, that could easily put me on some kind of targeting list."

If the anecdote is true then I am appalled that someone of Professor Tribe's stature, University Professor of Law at Harvard, would be cowed by the fear of being on an Administration watch list. The correct response surely is: "Bring 'em on!"

Surely an Administration that is so inept as to target Professor Tribe has completely lost touch with reality. But we really must resist, not succumb to the Administration's unconstitutional activities. We must remember Martin Niemöller's lament (in my updated form):

I hope this e-mail letter does not increase the New York Times' risk of being on a watch list.

Full Disclosure: In fact, I am a borrower and buyer of books, I am a blogger and an e-mailer, and I am a non-Evangelical Christian