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2003 Ron Paul Chapter 88
22 July 2003
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Congressional Record (Page H7291) Cached
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2003 Ron Paul 88:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
(Mr. PAUL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
2003 Ron Paul 88:2
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Chairman, I rise in support of this amendment. I want to compliment the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. OTTER) for bringing this to the floor.
2003 Ron Paul 88:3
When the PATRIOT Act was passed, it was in the passions following 9/11, and that bill should have never been passed. It was brought up carelessly, casually, in a rapid manner. The bill that had been discussed in the Committee on the Judiciary was removed during the night before we voted. The full text of this bill was very difficult to find. I am convinced that very few Members were able to review this bill before voting. That bill should have never passed. We certainly should continue to maintain the sunset provisions. But that is a long way off, and we should be starting to reform and improve this particular piece of legislation. This is our first chance to do so.
2003 Ron Paul 88:4
I have had many Members in the Congress come to me and on the quiet admit to me that voting for the PATRIOT Act was the worst bill and the worst vote they have ever cast; and this will give them an opportunity to change it, although this is very narrow. It is too bad we could not have made this more broad, and it is too bad we are not going to get to vote on the amendment of the gentleman from Vermont (Mr. SANDERS) to make sure that without the proper search warrant that the Federal Government would not have access to the library records.
2003 Ron Paul 88:5
But there is no need ever to sacrifice liberty in order to maintain security. I feel more secure when I have more liberty; and that is why I am a defender of liberty, because my main concern is security, both in the physical sense as well as the financial sense. I think the freer the country is, the more prosperous we are; and the freer the country is, the more secure we are.
2003 Ron Paul 88:6
Yet it was in the atmosphere of post- 9/11 that so many were anxious to respond to what they perceived as demands by the people to do something. But just to do something, if you are doing the wrong thing, what good is it? You are doing more harm.
2003 Ron Paul 88:7
But my main argument is that there is never a need to sacrifice liberty in order to protect liberty, and that is why we would like to at least remove this clause that allows sneak-and-peak search warrants.
2003 Ron Paul 88:8
It took hundreds, if not thousands, of years to develop this concept that governments do not have the right to break in without the proper procedures and without probable cause. And yet we threw that out the window in this post-9/11 atmosphere, and we gave away a lot.
2003 Ron Paul 88:9
Yes, we talked about numbers of dozens of examples of times when our government has used this and abused it. But that is only the beginning. It is the principle. If they had only done it once, if they had not done it, this should still be taken care of, because as time goes on, and if we adapt to this process, it will be used more and more, and that is throwing away a big and important chunk of our Constitution, the fourth amendment.
2003 Ron Paul 88:10
Not only should we do whatever we can to reform that legislation, but we already know that there is a PATRIOT Act No. 2. It has not been given to us, the Congress; but the administration has it for the future. It is available, but we have only gotten to see it from the Internet.
2003 Ron Paul 88:11
In that bill there is a proposal that the government can strip us of our citizenship, and then anybody then stripped of their citizenship could be put into the situation that many foreigners find themselves in at Guantanamo before the military tribunals.
2003 Ron Paul 88:12
I see this as a very, very important issue, if anybody cares about liberty, if anybody cares about personal freedom and the rule of law and the need for probable cause before our government comes barging into our houses. It has been under the guise of drug laws that have in the past instituted many of these abuses, but this is much worse. This has been put into an explicit piece of legislation, and the American people and this Congress ought to become very alert to this and realize how serious the PATRIOT Act is.
2003 Ron Paul 88:13
I hope that the Congress and our colleagues here will support this amendment. It is very necessary, and it will be voting for the Constitution; and it will be voting for liberty if we support this amendment.