State & National Elections is now State & National Politics. Please subscribe, read, and follow!
If link doesn't work: http://statenationalpolitics.blogspot.com/

A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have! - Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Federal Government Must Respect Americans’ Civil Liberties and Privacy, Bob Barr Says

“The Olympics is about to begin in China, but visitors will find themselves living under the same restrictions on their liberties as Chinese citizens,” notes Barr. “The government is forcing foreign-owned hotels to install software to spy on guests’ internet use. The U.S. State Department says both phone calls and emails are subject to surveillance and warns that tourists ‘have no reasonable expectation of privacy in public or private locations.’ It sounds an awful lot like America today,” he says.

“Obviously our government is not the same as the communist government in Beijing. But our government has acquired from Congress—and sometimes simply seized on its own—the power to electronically surveil citizens’ phone calls and e-mails, ” Barr explains. “Under the Patriot Act and the just-expanded Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act, the federal government can search our homes and computers and monitor our phone conversations and internet use with minimal – if any-- outside oversight. The federal government reportedly retaliated against Qwest Communications for being the only telecommunications company not to cooperate with the Bush administration’s illegal, post-911 phone surveillance program. Indeed, the president of the United States claims that he can designate an American living in America as an “enemy combatant” and thereby deny him any rights under the Constitution,” Barr adds.

“American legislators have been expressing outrage at China’s behavior, but many of them voted to authorize the U.S. government to spy on American citizens,” observes Barr. “America’s reputation, and its credibility to challenge other governments for human rights abuses, has been badly damaged by the U.S. government’s assault on the civil liberties and privacy of Americans in our country.”

“One of the reasons that I am running for president is to restore Washington’s respect for the system of individual liberties and limited government established by the Founders,” says Barr. Unfortunately, the Republican and Democratic parties represent the status quo. In fact, congressmen of both parties have routinely rolled over when presidents have demanded extraordinary powers. “As president, I would order the executive branch to follow the Constitution, and to limit its actions to those authorized by the nation’s fundamental law. I also would submit legislation to Congress repealing any extra-constitutional powers voted for the president. The nation’s highest-ranking public official must be bound by the law and Constitution like everyone else.”

Barr represented the 7th District of Georgia in the U. S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, where he served as a senior member of the Judiciary Committee, as Vice-Chairman of the Government Reform Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Financial Services. Prior to his congressional career, Barr was appointed by President Reagan to serve as the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, and also served as an official with the CIA.

Since leaving Congress, Barr has been practicing law and has teamed up with groups ranging from the American Civil Liberties Union to the American Conservative Union to actively advocate every American citizen’s right to privacy and other civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights. Along with this, Bob is committed to helping elect leaders who will strive for smaller government, lower taxes and abundant individual freedom.

No comments: