The Attorney General just said that he may take newspapers to task for publishing classified information. He is being rightfully lambasted for it.
Gonzales may be correct. There is legal precident for this. The Attorney General even noted laws passed in WWI and used in WWII. An American history survey will show that these sorts of trade offs occurred even early in the life of the nation. Look up the Alien and Sedition Acts for one example. In American history, civil liberties expand and contract in order to deal with threats to the nation.
But that misses the point. While legally viable, these techniques are not politically viable. Yes the government may be allowed to step on individual rights during wartime. (I emphasize "may" because I don't happen to like civil liberties infractions either.) Today, there doesn't seem to be much consensus that it is wartime. The war is on the news, but it doesn't effect most of us directly. As the administration initially wanted, everything is business as usual. These laws haven't been invoked within the lifetime of most Americans, certainly not within the lifetime of any baby boomers. It is just creating trouble the President doesn't need.
I really think the administration needs to shake up the cabinet level leadership. This current crop seems remarkably mediocre, mostly individuals like Gonzales who followed Bush up from Texas. Gen. Hayden might make a great head for the CIA, but I honestly don't think he is the man for the job considering his ties to recently exposed NSA programs. There are exceptions like Condi of course, so perhaps there is some hope.