Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's been a while...

... since I've had occasion to use my favorite quotation from Robert Bolt's play, A Man for All Seasons.
I think Wolf Blitzer gave me a chance on Wednesday in his interview with Col. John Galligan (Ret.) who is one of Maj. Hassan's defense attorneys.
Blitzer: A lot of folks, when they heard I was interviewing you, they asked me how could a retired U.S. military officer, a full colonel, go ahead and represent someone accused of mass murder? And I want you to explain to our viewers why you're doing this.
[transcript, The Situation Room, 11 Nov 2009]
Col. Galligan answers this question quite well.

Wolf seems not entirely satisfied.
Indeed, why defend this guy?

My stock answer?
William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!

Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!

Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

[emphasis added]
Yes: for my own safety's sake!

1 comment:

  1. The movie with Paul Schofield has this abreviated. TNT did the play version with Charleton Heston and has the full metaphor of lawyers being woodsmen.
    It's a great play, wonderful movie and the part about "for my own safety's sake" so true.