Bob Barr:”With bin Laden Dead, It’s Time to Restore Bill of Rights”

Former Congressman Bob Barr (R-Ga) was The Libertarian Party candidate for President in 2008. He came in fourth place, with about 530,000 votes.

On September 11, 2001, our nation witnessed the most devastating attack ever on American soil. Nearly 3,000 people were callously murdered by 19 madmen acting on orders from Osama bin Laden, the fanatical founder of the terrorist organization, al-Qaeda.

The cries for retribution were immediate; and then-President George W. Bush sought properly to oblige. Just three days after the attacks, he declared near Ground Zero, “[T]he people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

Unfortunately, justice did not come quickly. While some of al-Qaeda’s leaders were picked off one-by-one, bin Laden was increasingly seen as the “one who got away.” But more than nine years removed from these acts of cowardice, he has finally been brought to justice; shot dead by US Navy SEALs who raided bin Laden’s fortified estate near the Pakistani town of Abbottabad.

Thankfully, at least this chapter in America’s battle with Islamic terrorism — the one titled, “Osama bin Laden” — is finished. However, the fight against terrorism itself remains very much alive; as does the process of cleaning up the mess left behind by the September 11, 2001 attacks masterminded by this man — a process that should begin by taking stock of the liberties we as Americans have lost in the past decade.

The attacks on our nation financed and planned by bin Laden’s organization have altered our lives dramatically; causing leaders in both major political parties (often with strong public opinion support) to stray from the values that had made us what we are. We have allowed our government to largely neuter the Fourth Amendment by way of the PATRIOT Act and warrantless wiretapping programs that empower the government to snoop on its own citizens. We are no longer able to fly without being cleared from secret “no-fly” lists, and then being subject to highly invasive pat-downs and full-body scans by TSA agents. We have spent trillions on security theater and two long and extreme costly wars fought in the name of the war on terrorism.

Praise is deserved for bringing bin Laden to justice. But, far more important, it is time to start restoring the liberties that have been taken from us in the aftermath of 9/11.

Supporting repeal of those provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act set to expire at the end of this month — provisions not essential to investigating and thwarting terrorist plots or acts — would be an important signal that this President, unlike his predecessor, understands that those civil liberties put on hold the past 9-1/2 years, must not be considered permanently frozen

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8 thoughts on “Bob Barr:”With bin Laden Dead, It’s Time to Restore Bill of Rights”

  1. Michael H. Wilson

    I’m not sure justice was done, but I’m not a lawyer just some who put some faith in the preamble to the constitution where it say something about “establish justice”. Shooting an alleged mass murder who it appears now was unarmed reminds me of the lynchings from the past.

    I do think the LP should get very real about the Bill of Rights using all means of advertising to say we support the Bill of Rights; billboards, late night television, internet, and bumper stickers would all be a nice start.

  2. Barr Is More Libertarian Than Root

    Root responds to Bin Laden’s death with jingoistic, militaristic flag-waving (implicitly cheering the American Empire).

    Barr responds by defending civil liberties.

    Root plays up to his Fox News customer base.

    Barr offers a thoughtful piece.

    Root (and his handlers) have tried to spin Root as the more libertarian of the Barr/Root ticket, hoping that radicals will focus their anger on Barr.

    But really, Root is worse. Was always so.

  3. Steve Kubby

    It is time to stop flogging Bob Barr for the past and start praising him for his consistent defense of civil liberties and libertarian principles.

  4. Kevin Knedler

    Jezz everyone. Bob is not perfect, I am not perfect, and probably the rest of you are not perfect. Bob Barr is on a libertarian journey like many other people. Because we are humans and not ants or machines, we don’t all roll on the same time schedule. If we have some sort of “purity” test that one must pass immediately when joining the party, it will be a real small group.

  5. whatever

    Actually, Barr has been very consistent on these issues. He has been fighting this kind of legislation since 1995.

  6. Austin Battenberg

    I always liked Barr because he was able to admit his mistake with the Patriot Act and if it weren’t for him, it wouldn’t be consistently sunseted so Congress would have to keep voting for it over and over again. If it weren’t for him, the Patriot Act would be permanent. In almost every other instance, he was on the side of liberty. Like Kubby said, lets give him a chance for his consistence defense of civil liberties.

  7. Barr Is More Libertarian Than Root

    I always liked Barr because he was able to admit his mistake…

    Unlike Root, who always tries to bury his many flip-flops from last year, or even last week, and hopes that nobody notices or remembers.

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