John Ashcroft Source #1

John Ashcroft Source #1 - The USA PATRIOT Act Provides the...

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The USA PATRIOT Act Provides the Security That Protects Americans' Liberty Table of Contents: Further Readings "Prepared Remarks of Attorney General John Ashcroft," Federalist Society National Convention, November 15, 2003. John Ashcroft is the attorney general of the United States . [Since the September 11, 2001 , terrorist attacks, there has been] debate about how best to preserve and protect our liberty in the face of a very real terrorist threat. America has an honored tradition of debate and dissent under the First Amendment. It is an essential piece of our constitutional and cultural fabric. As a former politician, I have heard a few dissents in my time, and even expressed a couple of my own. The Founders believed debate should enlighten, not just enliven. It should reveal truth, not obscure it. The future of freedom demands that our discourse be based on a solid foundation of facts and a sincere desire for truth. As we consider the direction and destiny of our nation, the friends of freedom must practice for themselves . .. and demand from others . .. a debate informed by fact and directed toward truth. Take away all the bells and whistles . .. the rhetorical flourishes and occasional vitriol . .. and the current debate about liberty is about the rule of law and the role of law. Law Enhances Freedom The notion that the law can enhance, not diminish, freedom is an old one. [Philosopher] John Locke said the end of law is, quote, ". .. not to abolish or restrain but to preserve and enlarge freedom." [Former U.S. president] George Washington called this, "ordered liberty." There are some voices in this discussion of how best to preserve freedom that reject the idea that law can enhance freedom. They think that passage and enforcement of any law is necessarily an infringement of liberty.
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Ordered liberty is the reason that we are the most open and the most secure society in the world. Ordered liberty is a guiding principle, not a stumbling block to security. When the first societies passed and enforced the first laws against murder, theft and rape, the men and women of those societies unquestionably were made more free. A test of a law, then, is this: does it honor or degrade liberty? Does it enhance or diminish freedom? The Founders provided the mechanism to protect our liberties and preserve the safety and security of the Republic: the Constitution. It is a document that safeguards security, but not at the expense of freedom. It celebrates freedom, but not at the expense of security. It protects us and our way of life. Since September 11, 2001 , the Department of Justice has fought for, Congress has created, and the judiciary has upheld, legal tools that honor the Constitution . .. legal tools that are making America safer while enhancing American freedom. It is a compliment to all who worked on the
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John Ashcroft Source #1 - The USA PATRIOT Act Provides the...

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