With bin Laden Dead, It’s Time to Restore Bill of Rights

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

By Bob Barr — The Barr Code

122 comments Add your comment

TheRog

May 4th, 2011
5:27 am

Ah Mr. Barr… I knew there was a reason I voted for you for president!

Well said sir!

Rachael

May 4th, 2011
5:32 am

I believe that doing away with the Patriot Act and similar things would give other terrorists the opportunity that bin laden had. I do not believe that just because bin laden is dead that these acts should be repealed. I would much rather stand in line at our airports for two hours of security checks and know that my flight has a very good chance of being safe rather than just check in and there be a good possibility of a terrorist with a bomb on my flight. These acts may not be essential to investigating and thwarting terrorist plots or acts, but they provide us with a better chance of safety in our country. I understand that some may feel that these acts impede on some of our liberties but I want myself, my children and my grand children to be safe from terrorists.

Dabir Dalton

May 4th, 2011
5:48 am

In that case Rachael neither you, your children nor your grandchildren deserve the freedom promised by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Feel free to move to China at any time.

Fat Boy

May 4th, 2011
6:38 am

@Rachel,
Perhaps if you want your children and grand children to be safe from terrorists you’d be outraged at the lack of security along our nation’s borders.

Also, drunk drivers kill more people every month in this country than terrorists ever did.

The sense of security you get by giving up your rights at the airport is a false sense.

Tonysykes

May 4th, 2011
6:51 am

It must be arguable that Bin Laden is more of an effective recruting sergeant dead than he was alive. Most of what the west and the US specifically has carried out to make the world safer for more McDonalds franchises over the past 15 years has done little to improve the lot of the man on the Baghdad / Kabul omnibus.http://bit.ly/kVl619

Paul

May 4th, 2011
7:10 am

Rachael, it’s time to throw off the terroristic shackles of the previous administration. Too many citizens were browbeaten into the lock step belief that if they disagreed with the Patriot Act they must be directly supportive of terrorists. Most of the terroristic plots that were foiled since 911 were not due to legislative acts or storm troopers but by citizens and suspicious mosque attendees. We should not be so quick to hand over the keys to what made us what we are ever again.

Bob

May 4th, 2011
7:28 am

Rachael, do you think that having your children groped by a TSA agent makes us all safer ?

Eli Jones

May 4th, 2011
7:38 am

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety…..Benjamin Franklin

Eric

May 4th, 2011
8:05 am

Way to go Bob! Hope Congress reads this!

Buzz G

May 4th, 2011
8:20 am

Amen. It is time to reduce the amount of snooping government does in our lives.

Reality

May 4th, 2011
8:23 am

You all agree with Barr…… until there is another attack. And, what if that attack included the death of your family members? Would you still be agreeing with Mr. Barr?

Just askin’.

old shoes

May 4th, 2011
8:29 am

free the weed. marijuana is nature’s lil’ helper. drug laws are draconian.

edna

May 4th, 2011
8:31 am

Bob,

Amtrak is ready when you are.

[...] Time to Restore Bill of RightsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)On September 11, 2001, our nation witnessed the most devastating attack ever on American soil. Nearly 3000 people were callously murdered by 19 madmen acting on orders from Osama bin Laden, the fanatical founder of the terrorist organization, al-Qaeda.For Obama, Big Rise in Poll Numbers After Bin Laden RaidNew York TimesAfghanistan war is about more than al QaedaCNN (blog)U.S. raid opens Pakistani military to rare domestic criticismReutersSky News -Xinhua -ABC News (blog) -Telegraph.co.ukall 65,998 news articles » [...]

carlosgvv

May 4th, 2011
8:38 am

It would be good if killing Bin Ladin meant the end of Islamic terrorism. Unfortunately, there are schools in many countries where young children learn little more than a terrorist view of the Koran and eventually come out more than willing to kill all of us. These schools have been in business for many years and will be keeping up this brainwashing for the foreseeable future. We ARE at war with Islam and must keep all the provisions of the Patriot Act. At some point in the future there will be another 9/11. It’s just a matter of time.

Bagpuss

May 4th, 2011
8:38 am

Create an exagerated terror and then use as an excuse to erode the freedom and rights of people. Well done America.
Read George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ and see the similarities.

Satish Chandra

May 4th, 2011
8:43 am

According to the American announcement, Osama bin Laden was not killed DURING the firefight but executed with a shot in the head AFTER he had been taken into custody. Like CIA kingpin K. Subrahmanyam’s fake death, his death — in preparation for a withdrawal from Afghanistan — is a consequence of India having prepositioned five to six nuclear weapons in various cities/countries for the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United states (see below) and may be similarly fake.

I am India’s expert in strategic defence and the father of India’s strategic program, including the Integrated Guided Missile Development Program and in my blog titled ‘Nuclear Supremacy For India Over U.S.’, which can be found by a Yahoo search with the title, I have shown that all terrorism and insurgencies in the Indian subcontinent and in much of the rest of the world are sponsored by the C.I.A. Both Pakistan’s ISI and India’s RAW function as branches of the C.I.A. and participate in terrorism and insurgencies throughout the Subcontinent, under direction of the C.I.A. The goal of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and partial occupation of Pakistan is eventual occupation and overt colonial rule over the Subcontinent as a whole; India is already under covert CIA rule. To end this, India has said that five to six nuclear bombs have been prepositioned in various cities/countries such as New Delhi, Washington and New York — see my blog — for the nuclear destruction of New Delhi and then the coast-to-coast destruction of the United States.

Indian media people have been covering the white man’s wedding as if he is India’s prince. How many stories have you carried about India’s sovereign (see my blog above) who is also the most intelligent, most handsome man on Earth whose toe-nail clippings are worth more to India and the world than the rest of the billion-plus Indians combined? RAW has been putting out a breathless story on the white man’s wedding, in the Times of India, NDTV, etc., about every five minutes just as it promotes the AIDS woman and her gang-rapist son. It is all part of maintaining white rule over India (see ‘What You Should Know About RAW’ in my blog above).

India’s emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, was kept in exile while the British ruled India just as India’s sovereign is being kept in exile while the CIA rules India. Tens of millions of Indians killed by the British in just the ten years after 1857 — depopulating entire regions so there weren’t any men left to till the land — and many more right up to 1947 is how you generate love and admiration for conquerors — Americans doing the same in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. call it ‘pacification’ — loved and admired by one Swapan Dasgupta who wrote a column admiring me as “Quick Gun Murugan” about twenty years ago at which he was recruited by CIA-RAW. India will depopulate enemies — to hell with love and admiration — with nuclear bombs.

Regardless of what happened to Osama bin Laden and how quickly the Americans withdraw from Afghanistan, the destruction of CIA rule over India by nuclear bombs (above) will proceed unless the testing of high yield thermonuclear warheads to their full yields and of missiles to carry them to the continental United States to their full ranges to build, within five years, thousands of such weapons starts immediately.

Satish Chandra

gretchen

May 4th, 2011
8:44 am

I support the right for a woman to abort a fetus. Keep govt. out of the womb.

Barack

May 4th, 2011
8:46 am

CarlosGVV…We ARE at war with Islam and must keep all the provisions of the Patriot Act.

We are not at war with Islam any more than we are at war with Buddhists you effin moron…what an idiot.

Lone Ranger

May 4th, 2011
8:49 am

Well ‘ol Barack did it almost single handedly. Surprised he didn’t take the credit for pulling the trigger himself. I guess he will make himslef an honorary SEAL to go with his fake Nobel prize. Gotta do anything to get those poll numbers up. Wonder what else he has up his sleeve since his economic agenda has fallen flat on its face.

Richard

May 4th, 2011
8:53 am

Rachael,

“I would much rather stand in line at our airports for two hours of security checks and know that my flight has a very good chance of being safe rather than just check in and there be a good possibility of a terrorist with a bomb on my flight.”

I wasn’t aware any rational person thought standing in line at an airport waiting to be groped by a random person in need of a part time job made a flight safer.

HRPufnstuf

May 4th, 2011
8:57 am

I’d like to see someone publish a list of the Bill of Rights, along with a “Bill of Responsibilities” alongside it. Right to free speech, Responsibility not to shout “fire” in a crowded theater. Right to Bear Arms, Responsibility not to shoot someone who isn’t directly endangering your life. Too many people want to shout about their “Rights” but aren’t willing to be responsible as citizens.

WOW

May 4th, 2011
9:03 am

“We are not at war with Islam any more than we are at war with Buddhists you effin moron…what an idiot.”

No, but Islam IS at war with us, dumb a$$.

smalls

May 4th, 2011
9:07 am

WOW looks like your the a$$hat.

“President Bush tried to quell anti-Americanism in the Middle East yesterday by assuring Muslims that he is not waging war against Islam, regardless of what “propaganda and conspiracy theories” they hear.”

louis

May 4th, 2011
9:09 am

Richard,

I’m sure the American’s killed on 911 wish the hijacker’s were groped.

I Know You Are But What Am I

May 4th, 2011
9:09 am

To-Do List:

1. Attend Tea Party function. Bring American flag and a placard “Get goverment out of my life”.

2. Write a piece for Bob Barr’s blog that says that eschewing constitutional rights is the only way for Americans to remain safe with big, bad Islam looming in the dark.

graham

May 4th, 2011
9:10 am

This is not a War against Islam.”- President George Bush

graham

May 4th, 2011
9:13 am

Obama is the man. A true leader of men. Commander in Chief. Yes we can, Yes he DID!

“The killing of bin Laden was no one-shot missile strike on a Sudanese pharmaceutical factory suspected of making chemical weapons, as ordered by Bill Clinton. Nor was it a failed hostage rescue in Iran à la Jimmy Carter. Instead, it was a potent combination of American force and presidential decisiveness.”

Good Grief

May 4th, 2011
9:18 am

Reality @ 8:23 -
Time and time again our own government has shown that they are mostly inept at handling things not originally set forth for them in the Constitution, yet there are so many people willing to let the government do more and more. My guess would be that these are the same people who find it hard to go and vote, but make time each night to watch American Idol, or Dancing with the Stars, or Celebrity Apprentice.

old shoes @ 8:29-
I agree with you that some of the drug laws are draconian. But sadly there isn’t really a Marijuana Lobby in Washington. I figure that as soon as the weed industry starts giving politicians as much money as cigarettes and alcohol, it will be legalized. By the way, does anybody know the number on how many people died last year as a result of marijuana, versus how many were killed (directly or indirectly) by alcohol and cigarettes?

Barack

May 4th, 2011
9:18 am

WOW … No, but Islam IS at war with us, dumb a$$.

You have it all wrong…They are at war with infidels and you are the king.

jconservative

May 4th, 2011
9:19 am

Following is a list of the number of deaths in US automobile accidents from 2001 to 2010.
As I recall about 3000 people have been killed in the US by terrorists attacks in the same period.

2001 42,196
2002 43,005
2003 42,643
2004 42,836
2005 43,443
2006 42,642
2007 41,059
2008 37,261
2009 33,808
2010 32,708
Total 401,601.

Some are willing to give up their liberties in the name of security, as Barr describes.

None are willing to give up their automobiles in the name of security.

Which is more dangerous, more threatening, terrorists or automobiles?

patriot act

May 4th, 2011
9:20 am

may as well leave it in place. google, verizon, apple, etc. they all know where you are going. your phone and your car. they know when you go. the satellites can tell what you wore to work today.

liberty and privacy is an outdated and quaint notion folks. technology has made it so.

carry on.

Civilian

May 4th, 2011
9:21 am

Obama is the man. A true leader of men. Commander in Chief. Yes we can, Yes he DID!

Yes…he drew upon all his military training…oh, I forgot…he doesn’t have any. The fact is, he didn’t do a damn thing…he sat and watched on TV while the REAL MEN risked their lives to pull off the raid and execution.

the watch dog

May 4th, 2011
9:27 am

Under the USA Patriot Act:
#1 The Government may search and seize Americans papers and effects without probable cause to assist terrorist investigations. [This violates Amendment IV, The Freedom of Privacy].
#2 The Government may jail Americans indefinitely without trial [This violates AmendmentVI, the right to a speedy and public trial].
#3 To assist terror investigation the Government may monitor religious and political institutions without suspecting crimianal activity.[violates Amedment I [Freedom of Religion].
#4 The Government may monitor conversations between lawyers and clients in Federal Prisons and deny lawyers to Americans accused of crimes [violates Amendment VI [ to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor and assistance of counsel].
#5 The Government may prosecute librarians of any public records if anyone the government supoenaed seeks information related to a terror investigation. [Vilolates Amendment I { Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech].
#6 Americans maybe jailed without being charged or being able to confront witnesses. [violates Amendment VI, to be confronted with the witnesses against him].

Let us say Osama Bin Laden had been captured alive, how would the U.S. have been able to show the power of Democracy with the Patriot act?

“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety” Benjamin Franklin.

patriot act

May 4th, 2011
9:28 am

Terrorists vs. automobiles?

Total miles driven in 2003 2,890,893,000,000

(http://www.bts.gov/publications/national_transportation_statistics/2004/html/table_01_32.html)

Total auto deaths in 2003: 42,643.

that’s about 1 death for every 68 million miles driven. Seems pretty safe to me, as I probably will never reach 68 million miles driven in my lifetime.

We have speed limits and seat belts that “infringe our liberties”… I guess you are against those as well? What’s a little search and pat down to prove that you don’t have ulterior motives on the plane? Seems to be working

sarah

May 4th, 2011
9:36 am

Lone Star beer is reporting a unexpected uptick in sales in Crawford, TX. Poor georgie can be heard exclaiming, “dag-nabbit” as he clears some brush. bushie failed, Obama got ‘em. God Bless America.

Olderandwiser49

May 4th, 2011
9:41 am

Not just time to reduce the government snooping on citizens. It’s time to reduce government PERIOD! We cannot reduce our vigilance for terrorists, because the death of Bin Ladin is a rallying cry for them. The government, though, needs to recognize that TSA is little more than a water-cooler joke, repeatedly missing possible terrorists on existing watch lists, and spending their time feeling-up kids and the more attractive females. Vigilance should begin with securing our borders. Put the word out that attempting to illegally enter the US will be considered an act of hostile invasion of the US. Those captured will be sent to Guantanamo as enemy combatants, with no rights whatsoever. Those who are armed and fire at anyone attempting to stop them will be fired upon and killed. As long as our borders remain as porous as a sieve, terrorism will remain a very expensive reality in this country.

Patrick

May 4th, 2011
9:44 am

It is good to see that many Americans think Rachael and her way of thinking are just plain ignorant. It gives me hope that this country will get better and not end up like the movie “Idiocracy.”

Dave

May 4th, 2011
9:54 am

Having air marshals on the planes did more to improve our safety than scans and shoe removal.

sane jane

May 4th, 2011
9:55 am

I don’t care if he later “acknowledged that it was a mistake”, Bob Barr should NOT be permitted to criticize the USA PATRIOT ACT without ALSO mentioning that he was in Congress and voted FOR the bill.

Just like my Ayn Rand-worshiping Libertarian friend who just got fired & learned his Unemployment bennies were $500 per week. He’s accepting the money.

Remember with conservatives when it comes to virtues & morals, rules & law: they mean “for thee, not me”

Bryan G.

May 4th, 2011
10:07 am

sane jane – well said.

Any Bob Barr column regarding the Patriot Act should have a big “Mea Culpa” in it.

blackbird13

May 4th, 2011
10:13 am

“For thee, not me”

Love it. Can’t think of a more concise way to describe a fundamental truth.

Fred

May 4th, 2011
11:00 am

Worthless morons like Carlos and WOW should be afraid of worthy Americans like myself who would gladly kick their butts for wanting to remove my natural rights. Forget Islam, you jack azzes are the enemy.

Give me Liberty

May 4th, 2011
11:02 am

I can’t imagine that one person who lost their life during 9/11 would have wanted any other American to lose freedom for their death. It wasn’t a lack of security or knowledge. The people in power had warning after warning that they ignored. The failure was at the top. The only changes that should have been made were secure cockpit doors, arm pilots, and allowing Americans to carry arms on the planes. The government officials had knowledge of terrorists here in the U.S. but instead of focusing on them exclusively after the attack, they treated all citizens like terrorists by taking away our rights. I don’t fly anymore–not because I’m afraid, but because I will not allow myself to be treated like a criminal when I haven’t done anything wrong and expose myself to unlawful search–it’s my small way of protesting. The last time I flew (2005), I saw the great protection in effect, pulling aside harmless elderly people and blondes that were well endowed–I was witnessing harassment and humiliation–it was visible on the peoples’ faces who were being “felt up” by security. I don’t live in the United States I was taught about in grade school in 1980!

Give me Liberty

May 4th, 2011
11:20 am

If I were a victim of 9/11 I wouldn’t want any of my people to give up their freedom for my death. This wasn’t a failure of security at the level of the people. It was a failure of top government officials. They had warning after warning of the planned attack. We have a system of defense in place and should have been able to respond to those planes being hijacked in minutes with fighter jets. Every system of the government failed. The people didn’t. So why does it make any sense to have every American subjected to unlawful search, whether it’s at the airport or when I call my grandmother? I will not submit to being threatened with the unlawful detainment prescribed in the Patriot Act! I’m a law abiding citizen goddamn it!
I haven’t flown since 2005–not because I’m afraid, but because I witnessed our new protection system in effect–pulling aside elderly and well-endowed blondes for pat-downs. I witnessed the harassment and the humiliation on the faces of those being groped. Studies have shown that despite all big-brother investments it’s still an aware people that detect suspicious activities first!

Bobb Bar the door.

May 4th, 2011
11:30 am

Now that we’ve ordained Osama Bin Laden a martyred saint, we need the patriot act more than ever to combat the bin laden clones out there. Bob Barr is so wrong he needs a corrective colonic.

ew

Alil Afeef Alasad

May 4th, 2011
11:36 am

I am with Osama Bin Laden. Hear me or I will launch 16 nuclear missles to you infedels. I will not bomb you if you give me Megan Fox. Crackaz

Alil Afeef Alasad

May 4th, 2011
11:37 am

I am kiddin! Dont arrest me. Just give me Betty White. I will settle with her

Jeb

May 4th, 2011
11:37 am

Lone Ranger idiot…he should have sat in a fighter jet and said ‘mission accomplished!”

Alil Afeef Alasad

May 4th, 2011
11:42 am

You infedels! He is with me now!