Tuesday, January 24, 2006

At Least Get the Quote Right!

Those who are opposing the NSA listening in on suspected Al Qaeda phone calls without a warrant have been repeating a quote from Benjamin Franklin quite often. Here is just one example from the NY Times.

More than two dozen students in the audience responded by turning their backs on Mr. Gonzales and standing stone-faced before live television cameras for the duration of his half-hour speech. Five protesters in the group donned black hoods and unfurled a banner, quoting Benjamin Franklin, that read, "Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

The problem is, that isn't what the quote says:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

Somehow I doubt that if General Washington were giving out orders to intercept and read all letters addressed to the British Army, Benjamin Franklin would consider this "giving up essential liberty".

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin imitates me. And she even has pictures.