Maybe we can justify these compromises, and maybe we can't. But we can't even have that debate until we stop deceiving ourselves about what we're doing. We're not building an alliance for democracy, pluralism, or freedom of speech and religion. We're setting aside those principles in order to build the broadest possible alliance against terrorism.
If anti-terrorists twist the definition of terrorism so that they can continue to use it while slaughtering civilians in the name of fighting it, they'll be the ones who have obliterated every value except the will to power. Like Joe McCarthy, they'll become the enemy they set out to defeat. They'll be the ones who end up in history's grave. Or worse, they won't.
And then there's the issue of Russia being given free rein to do what it likes in Chechnya, free of the criticism of Western human-rights busybodies ("Silence on Chechnya is the price for this new solidarity", as a German politician is quoted as saying), and the possibility China wanting tit-for-tat support in bringing to justice its own Bin Laden, the Dalai Lama. (Perhaps the FBI could arrest him at a Hollywood function and ship him off to Beijing?) (via Satisfaction Refunded)