This is the most pervasive and perverse assumption permeating national security discussions: that we cannot Stay Safe and simultaneously have a government that abides by the law [in his McCarthyite screed recently accusing me of “indifference” to American national security, Joe Klein wrote that I have never “ma[d]e a single positive suggestion about how to confront that [terrrorist] threat in ways that might conform to [my] views” — as always, it’s simply assumed that the “suggestion” I’ve been making for four years (that the Government should follow the law when eavesdropping on, interrogating and detaining Terrorists) is simply not a means for Staying Safe]. That’s the assumption that emerges time and again in virtually every national security controversy. If one really thinks about it, it’s a truly magnificent achievement for the Government to have convinced its citizenry that they must be allowed to break the law if the citizens want to survive.

Glenn Greenwald: The difference between “legal” and “illegal”