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

Satan

May 4th, 2011
11:46 am

Yes indeed, I have told Osama the correct hiding possitions to avoid Americans long enough.

Satan Jr.

May 4th, 2011
11:46 am

Dad i wanna Pop-sicle

Satan

May 4th, 2011
11:47 am

SILENCE! I KILL YOU!

Lone Ranger

May 4th, 2011
11:47 am

Jeb you’re just sad that your boy in the White House didn’t do anything to earn his Nobel Prize. You’ll get over it.

Give me Liberty

May 4th, 2011
11:56 am

We aren’t safer–the government can choose to ignore all the warnings next time too.

jconservative

May 4th, 2011
11:57 am

patriot act May 4th, 2011
9:28 am
“Terrorists vs. automobiles? ”

I would agree that automobiles are safe. I would also say that living with terrorism is pretty safe.
3000 deaths in 10 years. And if it had been doubled to 6000 deaths in 10 years, still a very safe place to live.

One cannot escape death. Giving up liberties for security is not something I will willingly do. It is the liberties we enjoy in the US that make life worth living.

But that is just me I guess. I do not live in fear of death or of dying. Terrorist threats have no effect on me. I am not going to feel better because I die in an automobile accident as opposed to a terrorist attack.

So how I die is how I die. How I am able to live, that is the important matter to me.

Give me Liberty

May 4th, 2011
12:00 pm

The last time I flew was in 2005 not because I was afraid, but because it’s my small protest. I saw the elderly and well-endowed blondes being patted down–they looked humiliated and I saw it as harassment. If I were one of the victims of 9/11 I’d be sad to think my death equated the loss of my fellow peoples’ rights. I cannot submit to the unlawful searches and to the unlawful detainment prescribed in the Patriot Act. The only changes that needed to be made were to make cockpit doors secure, arm the pilots and allow Americans to carry guns on planes–problem solved.

Give me Liberty

May 4th, 2011
12:03 pm

I haven’t flown since 2005–not because I’m afraid but because I saw harassment and humiliation on the faces of the elderly and well-endowed blondes being pulled aside for pat-downs. The only changes that were necessary were to secure cockpit doors, arm the pilots, and allow Americans to carry guns on planes too.

Give me Liberty

May 4th, 2011
12:07 pm

So how does patting down the elderly and well-endowed blondes make us safer? How does listening to my conversation with grandma make us safer? I object to my rights being stolen when the real fault was of those in power, not the common citizens who are now being treated like common criminals.

carlosgvv

May 4th, 2011
12:25 pm

Barak

Radical Islam has declared war on us. If an insane killer terrorist group declares war on you and you just ignore it and hope it will go away, you are a naive pathetic fool. Being in politically correct denial will accomplish nothing, you cretin.

DebbieDoRight

May 4th, 2011
12:28 pm

I go to hand it to you Barr, you did an entire column on the Bin Laden shooting, mentioned GWB once and Obama not at all. Congratulations!!! You may pick up your Republican “Purity” Pledge Pin and your Republican Propaganda Apologists Play List from your local Chickenhawk lodge.

Congrats again!!! Hack Job Well Done!

I Know You Are But What Am I

May 4th, 2011
12:29 pm

I find it abundantly ironic that the same people who want government out of their lives are willing to cede their constitutional rights to the government for the promise of some elusive protection.

Fools.

Phil

May 4th, 2011
12:37 pm

Some of these comments go beyond idiocy and border on un-american.

Even before the Patriot Act, you statistically had a better chance of being struck by lightning, or eaten by a shark, than you did dying in a terrorist attack.

Compound that fact, with the fact that government agencies are using NSL provisions within the patriot act for reasons OTHER than terrorism (well documented by FOIA requests from EFF), and then sit back and think: why should people not be upset at you for thinking we still need it?

If you support the extension of the Patriot act, then you are supporting the attack on the basic fabric of our country… which is ALOT more upsetting than a few buildings or air planes.

It’s Give me liberty or give me death, not give me liberty or give me the Patriot Act.

People have no idea the amount of fishing expeditions HSI has been on as a result of the Patriot Act… allowing them to knock on the doors of innocent americans even when a judge denies a warrant based on probable cause.

If you support it, then you are just as un-american as Bin Laden was. PERIOD

Jeb

May 4th, 2011
12:49 pm

LR: You are right…it was another conspiracy! Now finish giving Rush his BJ.

Lone Ranger

May 4th, 2011
1:06 pm

LR: You are right…it was another conspiracy! Now finish giving Rush his BJ.

Jeb…how can I do that when your head is in the way???

Barack

May 4th, 2011
1:11 pm

Radical Islam has declared war on us. If an insane killer terrorist group declares war on you and you just ignore it and hope it will go away, you are a naive pathetic fool.

CarlosGVV…I am just commenting on what you wrote. I can’t help it if you seemed too stupid to know what you are talking about. Thanks for clarifying your previous statement. Only a total moron would have made your earlier statement, so now that we know what you meant you seem brilliant.

SaveOurRepublic

May 4th, 2011
1:12 pm

Well stated Mr.Barr. The Orwellian (so-called) “Patriot” & Military Commissions Acts have trampled our Constitutional rights. Whether one buys the “official” 9/11 story or that OBL was just now neutralized (vs. already dead or still alive) or not…the Constitution should have NEVER been compromised to facilitate the (growing) police state.

carlosgvv

May 4th, 2011
1:13 pm

Barack

You are obviously a child. Are you playing hookey from school? Do your parents know where you are?

philosopher

May 4th, 2011
1:15 pm

@Lone Ranger : This is supposed to be a thoughtful discussion about the Patriot act. All you have done is accuse Obama of not having done what you hoped he would do so you could blast him for it if he did do it… talk about stretching to to get a dig in… Get rid of the Patriot Act, OK…but give me a Stop Ignorant, Infammatory Epithets Act.

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Civilian

May 4th, 2011
1:16 pm

Congrats again!!! Hack Job Well Done!

Way to go Debbiedodo…you sure got ‘ol Bob again with your sarcastic wit. Maybe when you are done shining Cynthia Tucker’s shoes you will still have time to get to the wine store and home in time to catch Jerry Springer.

Fred

May 4th, 2011
1:20 pm

I contributed to Obama’s campaign several times prior to his vote to extend “The Patriot Act”. I will not give another dime to his campaign, nor the Democratic Party until he rights this wrong.

Barack

May 4th, 2011
1:20 pm

CarlosGVV…Genius buddy…brilliant. Why don’t you educate us some more on Islam too, after all, you are an expert.

Lone Ranger

May 4th, 2011
1:22 pm

“All you have done is accuse Obama of not having done what you hoped he would do so you could blast him for it if he did do it”

Say what?? and you call yourself Philospher? I don’t think so

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WOW

May 4th, 2011
1:45 pm

Waterboarding worked.

BRIAN WILLIAMS: I’d like to ask you about the sourcing on the intel that ultimately led to this successful attack. Can you confirm that it was as a result of waterboarding that we learned what we needed to learn to go after bin Laden?

LEON PANETTA: You know Brian, in the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information, and that was true here. We had a multiple source — a multiple series of sources — that provided information with regards to this situation. Clearly, some of it came from detainees and the interrogation of detainees. But we also had information from other sources as well. So, it’s a little difficult to say it was due just to one source of information that we got.

WILLIAMS: Turned around the other way, are you denying that waterboarding was in part among the tactics used to extract the intelligence that led to this successful mission?

PANETTA: No, I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees. But I’m also saying that, you know, the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always going to be an open question.

WILLIAMS: So, finer point, one final time, enhanced interrogation techniques — which has always been kind of a handy euphemism in these post-9/11 years — that includes waterboarding?

PANETTA: That’s correct.

WOW

May 4th, 2011
1:47 pm

“WOW looks like your the a$$hat.”

I’m sure you’re used to having things shoved up your a$$.

WOW

May 4th, 2011
1:49 pm

“I can’t help it if you seemed too stupid to know what you are talking about. Thanks for clarifying your previous statement. Only a total moron would have made your earlier statement, so now that we know what you meant you seem brilliant.”

Time for Barak to move out of her mom’s double wide and get a job. Hey, McDonalds is hiring.

Barack

May 4th, 2011
1:59 pm

Time for Barak to move out of her mom’s double wide and get a job. Hey, McDonalds is hiring.

Well done…you are even more brilliant than Carlos

Sage

May 4th, 2011
2:04 pm

Sadly, The Bill of Rights is a lot like religion… everyone has their own version.

Ezra

May 4th, 2011
2:25 pm

I want my property rights back!

philosopher

May 4th, 2011
2:47 pm

@Lone Ranger:”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. ”
He did none of these things- He gave credit exactly where it belonged…to the folks who put their lives and expertise on the line..he hasn’t suggested making himself an honorary Navy Seal… and his Nobel Prize was not given to him because he asked for it. Unsupported fantasies that might give you fodder to grumble…but unrelated to the Patriot act and whether or not it should be repealed.

WOW

May 4th, 2011
3:03 pm

“Well done…you are even more brilliant than Carlos”

Keep on writing, I’ll keep on responding, little girl.

Scooter (The Original)

May 4th, 2011
3:04 pm

OBL was a symptom, not the disease. If you stop treatment when a symptom subsides, the disease will re-manifest.

Hey Bob, discharged any firearms at indoor NRA meetings lately?

Good Grief

May 4th, 2011
3:09 pm

Sage @ 2:04 -
How, exactly, does each person have their own version of the Bill of Rights? Those rights are laid out in the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution.

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Barack

May 4th, 2011
4:21 pm

WOW you just keep getting smarter as the day goes on. You should have your own column with such good stuff.

Lone Ranger

May 4th, 2011
4:25 pm

“Unsupported fantasies that might give you fodder to grumble…”

Philospher you just can’t stand it that the empty suit in the white house isn’t qualified to lead the Boy Scouts. You think he was the mastermind of that raid and execution? He pats himself on the back for the risks that others took and their success. He had nothing to do with it except to give a thumbs up. Even a blind squirrel can find an acron every now and then.

WOW

May 4th, 2011
4:55 pm

Barack

Don’t you have a 7-eleven to rob, thug?

Barack

May 4th, 2011
5:08 pm

Wow …Ha ha…That’s great…I can’t believe how smart you are!!! Got any more???

Idiot watcher

May 4th, 2011
5:18 pm

Lone Ranger, Civilian, Bob and others, the fact you can’t give the President any credit here shows your smallness. He didn’t just give it a thumbs up. He made it a priority, but one under the radar. He listened to the options and chose the one that would give us proof OBL was dead. He and his team managed to keep the intel, the planning and the timing secret. He accomplished something the prior inhabitant of the White House couldn’t. And contrary to your interpretation, he has not been patting himself on the back. He has consistently and properly given credit where credit is due.
Did GWB lead the invasion of Iraq? Did Reagan fly a bomber over Libya after the marine bombing? Did Jimmy Carter fly a helicopter on the disastrous rescue mission for the Iran hostages? No, of course not. They were the commander in chief and they authorized the actions. They were not expected to lead them. Stop being so petty and take a clear look at the situation. It was a huge win for America and a bold move by the President. Grow up.

bluewombat

May 4th, 2011
5:21 pm

I did not think much of you when you were engaged in your Clinton jihad, but you’ve really redeemed yourself. I want the Bill of Rights back, too.

Skeerdi-Kat

May 4th, 2011
5:28 pm

Ew, ew, I’m so afraid. Ew, one of them Mudslimes is gonna get me in my bed. Ew, ew, they’ll break in my winder and git me in my bed and throw stones at me til I’m dead. Ew.

I don’t trust my government to run health care. But I trust it to protect 350 million Ameerikans agin that tair threat. Haven’t figured out why yet. Gotta listen to Sean. He’ll tell me what to think. He’s a great Ameerikan.

Bob

May 4th, 2011
5:41 pm

Idiot Watcher…Yer a great Amerikin. And you are well plugged in to the military intelligence that operates behind the scenes. You must be a SEAL maybe? Ranger? Special Ops? Maybe an off the books contractor? We salute you as a true patriot and American idiot.

[...] Rep. Bob Barr (R-Ga.) blogged that bin Laden’s genocide means Congress should dissolution tools of a PATRIOT [...]

[...] "Agents of influence are effective at what they do. But some people come along who …Time to Restore Bill of RightsAtlanta Journal Constitution (blog)Osama bin Laden: US responds to questions about killing's [...]

[...] put on hold the past 9-1/2 years, must not be considered permanently frozenOriginally published @ http://blogs.ajc.com/bob-barr-blog/2011/05/04/with-bin-laden-dead-its-time-to-restore-bill-of-rights... [...]

Jim Paulson

May 4th, 2011
8:20 pm

Mr. Barr,

You are absolutely right about restoring the Bill of Rights and slaying the PATRIOT Act since the kingpins of terror have been taken down or jailed. What I can’t understand is this: How do you kill a man twice or more times? According to Fox News, bin Laden died in Dec 2001 of lung complications and of course they now say he was shot to death on May 1, 2011. The former prime minister of Pakistan and late Benazir Bhutto told David Frost in an interview in Nov 2007 that Omar Sheikh murdered Osama bin Laden. So who is right? And doesn’t it seem strange that several days later there is still no photos of bin Laden AND he was buried at sea!!! How convenient!

Tracy

May 4th, 2011
9:08 pm

“Rachael” is a prime example of why our freedom is being destroyed. People like her live their life by paranoia and kneejerk reaction.

Please Rachael, and I mean this more seriously than anything I’ve ever said before, leave the United States. Get out,go to China or Cuba. Who cares, YOU are the death of everything this country has ever stood for.

gerard

May 4th, 2011
9:57 pm

Rachel, the whole problem with people like you is that you believe that the check is in the mail, etc, once you do a a little research and look at some of the mountain of evidence all pointing to g. bush and rumsfeld, “Pilots for 911 truth, “citizen investigation of the no plane pentagon bomb. ‘ no bodies or luggage at pentagon, you might understand that all of this info is available to prevent a dupe from becoming duped. Why you don’t want the truth is a typical shill tactic .