Sunday, October 28, 2001
Because it's a Lie
Otober 2001 RELATED POSTCARDS
Law enforcement is now empowered with new tools and resources necessary to disrupt, weaken, and eliminate the infrastructure of terrorist organizations, to prevent or thwart terrorist attacks, and to punish the perpetrators of terrorist acts. The American people can be assured law enforcement will use these new tools to protect our nation while upholding the sacred liberties expressed in the Constitution.
Attorney General Ashcroft is committed to confronting injustice by leading a professional Justice Department free from politics, defined by integrity and dedicated to upholding the rule of law. He will make certain that the Justice Department fulfills its promise and honors its heritage-not only by enforcing the rule of law, but by guaranteeing rights for the advancement of all Americans.
There have been periods in our nationís history when civil liberties have taken a back seat to what appeared at the time to be the legitimate exigencies of war. Our national consciousness still bears the stain and the scars of those events: The Alien and Sedition Acts, the suspension of habeas corpus during the Civil War, the internment of Japanese-Americans, German-Americans, and Italian-Americans during World War II, the blacklisting of supposed communist sympathizers during the McCarthy era, and the surveillance and harassment of antiwar protesters, including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., during the Vietnam War. We must not allow these pieces of our past to become prologue.
Of course, there is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country that allowed the police to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your email communications; if we lived in a country that allowed the government to hold people in jail indefinitely based on what they write or think, or based on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, then the government would no doubt discover and arrest more terrorists.
But that probably would not be a country in which we would want to live. And that would not be a country for which we could, in good conscience, ask our young people to fight and die. In short, that would not be America.
Preserving our freedom is one of the main reasons that we are now engaged in this new war on terrorism. We will lose that war without firing a shot if we sacrifice the liberties of the American people.
Nothing can replace the losses that have been suffered. But we will rebuild and we will recover. The people of America will stand together because the people of America have always stood together, and those of us who are privileged to serve this great nation will stand with you. God bless the people of America.
This legislation is essential not only to pursuing and punishing terrorists, but also preventing more atrocities in the hands of the evil ones. This government will enforce this law with all the urgency of a nation at war. The elected branches of our government, and both political parties, are united in our resolve to fight and stop and punish those who would do harm to the American people.
It is now my honor to sign into law the USA Patriot Act of 2001.
Killing terrorists, like bin Laden, is a measure of pure self-defense, to be applauded. Killing Afghan women is a brutal act, to be abhorred.
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