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On December 6, 2001, less than three months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Attorney General John Ashcroft, testifying before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, gave a warning: “To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists—for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America’s enemies.” Such tough talk was not unprecedented in American history by any means. In fact, one can draw a straight line from President Abraham Lincoln to John Ashcroft on that score. Lincoln offered his sternest warning to the people of the North in a public letter sent to the press on June 12, 1863.