Pubdate: Wed, 24 Oct 2001
Source: WorldNetDaily (US Web)
Copyright: 2001, Inc.
Author: Steve Kubby
Bookmark: (Kubby, Steve)


Americans want those responsible for the WTC tragedy caught and
punished. However, that doesn't mean that Americans should also be
punished by suspending our constitutional rights. To the contrary, any
infringement on America's Bill of Rights not only violates our
heritage of freedom, it violates our Constitution and diminishes the
brave American patriots who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

Waving the flag and singing patriotic songs seems to be the rage these days,
but let's not forget that America's Constitution and Bill of Rights must
always come first. As Thomas Jefferson so wisely advised his fellow
Americans: "A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against
every government on earth, general or particular; and what no just
government should refuse, or rest on inferences."

Back in 1778, Thomas Paine warned Americans about false patriots who
wave the flag on sunny days, but fail to uphold liberty in stormy
weather: "These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier
and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service
of their country; but he that stands now, deserves the love and thanks
of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we
have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more
glorious the triumph."

The real tragedy of Sept. 11 is that the public's fear of terrorism is
being used to fraudulently barter away rights that are supposed to be
guaranteed, without exceptions, to all Americans. Cowed by public
hysteria, Congress has turned its back on the Constitution and passed
anti-terrorism bills that authorize completely unconstitutional
activities such as the "delayed notice" provision, section 213,
allowing the government to conduct covert searches. This means that
law enforcement agencies can enter a person's home or office, search
through the person's possessions, in some cases seize physical objects
or electronic information, without the person knowing that law
enforcement agents were there.

America, once admired for its freedom and democratic ideals, suddenly
finds itself in a secret war, with secret courts, sealed warrants and
secret searches. Now the FBI is even talking about using torture to
gain confessions from suspects, signaling an even greater attack on
our most fundamental civil liberties. Like deer caught in the
headlights, we are too paralyzed by fear and denial to take proper
evasive actions to end this grab for power or to demand that our
rights be upheld.

As a result, the Bush administration has taken unprecedented control
of the military and law enforcement. And most of the mainstream news
and information organizations are accommodating him. Waving flags and
promoting false patriotism, this new and highly secretive oligarchy is
shamelessly using our fear of terrorism to suspend our rights and the
media's access to the truth. Even the Freedom of Information Act is
under attack with Attorney General John Ashcroft issuing a new
statement of policy that encourages federal agencies to "resist
Freedom of Information Act requests, whenever they have legal grounds
to do so."

Speaking of summer soldiers and sunshine patriots, how is it that the
Congress abrogated its responsibility to exert checks and balances on
this power grab by the Bush administration?

The congressional oath is to uphold the Constitution, and the rights
guaranteed by that document, against all enemies foreign and domestic.
There is nothing there about selling out our constitutional rights
because of a war or "national security." No, each member of Congress
took an oath to defend our rights. Now Congress has betrayed its oath,
sold out our rights and is guilty of aiding and abetting a slow-motion
coup d'etat.

Showing solidarity with the president may seem patriotic, but no one
has the right to barter away our inalienable rights, especially the
Congress, since their oath requires them to defend the Constitution
and the rights it guarantees. Yes, it's terrible that 5,000 innocent
people were so brutally slaughtered on Sept. 11, but we must remember
that hundreds of thousands of brave American patriots also paid the
ultimate price to preserve our heritage of freedom.

Patriotism is more than waving a flag or supporting the government.
Real patriotism demands an unwavering commitment to upholding and
defending all of our rights, regardless of any argument of necessity
or "national security."
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