Various of the nation's founders, including Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, have been credited with warnings to the effect that those willing to sacrifice their liberty in exchange for security deserve - and will receive - neither. Studying history, both U.S. and world, in any depth reveals many proofs of the old adage.
Yet once again we are being assured that if we will just allow the government to take some of our freedom, our security will be improved greatly.
Those daring to question the assertion, from both President Barack Obama and some liberals in Congress, are being slammed as enemies of the American people.
Controversy is building over both the government's secret surveillance of journalists and its action in seizing telephone records of millions of Americans.
But last week, James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, criticized "reckless disclosures of intelligence community measures to keep Americans safe." Clapper's complaint was not about specific threats to our security - but only that the news media dared to report surveillance, in general, is occurring.
Then, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., defended surveillance programs. Feinstein is chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Finally, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., who is chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, agreed.
Sometimes, bipartisanship is a good thing - but not when it unites politicians in threatening our liberties.