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EPIC Alert 8.17 [2001] EPICAlert 17


Volume 8.17 September 17, 2001

Published by the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
Washington, D.C.

Special EPIC Alert

Over the last several days our nation's leaders have confronted thegreatest national crisis of our generation. It is a difficult time inWashington, as it is across the country.

We would like to bring to your attention words of courage and hopethat have been spoken in Washington during the past week. Members ofCongress from all parties, from across the country, and of allpolitical views have expressed their support for preserving America'sfreedoms, for safeguarding America's ideals.

We know that when countries give up liberties, they make sacrifices,
not trade-offs, and what is lost may never be recovered. In the daysahead, let us move forward together to safeguard that which is mostprecious -- a system of government, the rule of law, and the principleof freedom that seeks to protect the rights of each person and thesecurity of us all.

Marc RotenbergElectronic Privacy Information Center

"[On September 11, 2001,] our fellow citizens, our way of life, ourvery freedom, came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadlyterrorist acts. . . . America has stood down enemies before, and wewill do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, wego forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in ourworld."

President George W. Bush

"[A]s we respond here at home to what we learn from these attacks, isthat this is a country that understands that people have fundamentalGod-given rights and liberties and our government is constituted toprotect those rights. We cannot -- in our efforts to bring justice --
diminish those liberties. Clearly this is not a simple, normalcriminal case. This is an act of war, and those rules of warfare mayapply. But here at home and domestically, we need to make sure thatwe're not tempted to abrogate any civil rights such as habeas corpus,
protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, the freedom ofexpression and peaceable assembly, or freedom of religion. And justbecause somebody may come from an ethnic background, that meansnothing in the exercise of their rights as citizens. They are Americancitizens. And so let's make sure that in our anger and in our effortsto bring justice, we remember our basic foundational civil libertiesand not abrogate them."

Senator George Allen (R-VA)

"The challenge ahead will require strengthening U.S. defenses andintelligence at home in ways consistent with American values.
Embassies and military bases must be better defended along withdomestic airports and other civilian targets. But this does not meanthat we can allow terrorists to alter the fundamental openness of U.S.
society or the government's respect for civil liberties. If we do so,
they will have won."

Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)

"Some have said yesterday and today that all has changed, all haschanged for America. I know what they mean by that, and I respecttheir view, but I pray that is not true. I pray that is not true. Ipray my junior colleague from Virginia is correct when he says the onething we cannot allow to change is the values upon which this countryis built, for if that were to occur, then they would be able todeclare victory, genuine victory."

Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE)

"Attacking this country is not enough to defeat it. It never hasbeen. That's something our enemies have discovered again and again.
America's history is the story of a nation, of a people, that hasrepeatedly overcome what seemed like insurmountable challenges --
fueled by our individual liberty, our respect for the rule of law, andour belief in the value of every human life. America began as anation by overcoming tyranny. We will continue by overcomingterrorism. And we will do it without sacrificing who we are asAmericans. We will do it by upholding the principles of 'liberty andjustice for all.'"

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

"A time of crisis is one of the greatest tests of a democracy. Ournation is rooted in the fundamental principles of freedom and justice.
It is during these times of conflict, and fear, that we need toprotect those principles the most. These principles must guide ouractions in the days, weeks, and months to come. . . . We must neverallow terrorists to gain any victory over us by diminishing ourcountry's respect for individual liberty and freedom. . . . Let usremember that the Constitution was written in 1789 by men who had wonthe Revolutionary War. They did not live in comfortable and easytimes of hypothetical enemies. They wrote a Constitution to protectindividual liberties in times of war as well as in times of peace."

Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI)

"Our values, our resolve, our commitment, our sense of community willserve us well. I am confident that, as a nation, we will seek andserve justice. Our Nation, my neighbors and friends in Vermont demandno less, but we must not let the terrorists win. If we abandon ourdemocracy to battle them, they win. If we forget our role as theworld's leader to defeat them, they win. And we will win. We willmaintain our democracy, and with justice, we will use our strength. Wewill not lose our commitment to the rule of law, no matter how muchthe provocation, because that rule of law has protected us throughoutthe centuries. It has created our democracy. It has made us what weare in history."

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

"In truth, the people of this country are big in heart and strong incharacter. We will maintain our open society and fight terrorismaround the globe with freedom loving peoples everywhere. And we willprevail."

Congressman Tom Allen (D-ME)

"There will be ... inconvenience. But we will not violate people'sbasic rights as we make this nation more secure. We can do that indemocracies. It can't be done in tyrannies, because tyrannies do notenjoy the general good will and support of the people who are willingto suffer inconvenience and good nature with a confidence that thenation will protect their rights."

Congressman Dick Armey (R-TX)

"What we must avoid, however, is the knee-jerk reaction to pass morelaws restricting the civil liberties of American citizens. Thetragedies of this attack will only be compounded by giving thegovernment more power at the expense of our civil liberties. If wecannot stop this sort of attack with all of the power our governmentagencies already have, then we are in very serious trouble."

Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA)

"In responding to this heinous attack, we must reaffirm our commitmentto uphold our Constitution, including the rights guaranteed to everyAmerican in the Bill of Rights. These precious rights have beensecured by the blood and sacrifices of Americans for more than 225years. I am confident in the ability of today's generation ofAmericans to honor those sacrifices and the memories of those killedin the attacks on September 11, 2001. We have an obligation toovercome this latest challenge to freedom while honoring ourConstitution and preserving the rights it guarantees for ourselves,
our children, and our children's children."

Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)

"[I]n the coming days, there may be some calls to assess blame and tolimit the individual liberties and freedoms we enjoy as Americans. Iurge my colleagues to resist these efforts, no matter how wellintended. The founding principle of our nation is the right to pursuelife, liberty and happiness, and we must recognize the risks that weassume with our freedom. The lives of each American [were] changedforever by the awful acts carried out yesterday. But we must notsacrifice our freedoms, and our way of life in the name of fear tothose who seek a weakened, disconnected America. To use fear as ameans to limit our freedom will only serve the goals of those whoundertook these heinous attacks against America. Today is the day torecognize the abiding strength of our nation and tell the world, inparticular those who seek to cause our nation harm, that the Americanswho perished on September 11, 2001 did not do so in vain.

Congressman Ken Bentsen (D-TX)

"As the dust settles, we find ourselves confronting an enemy that isboth evil and elusive. But the world must know that, today, Americastands stronger than ever -- a nation sworn to defend freedom,
tolerance, diversity and democracy. Those terrorists who attempt toextinguish our spirit must know that these are ideals we Americanswill never surrender. I come from Michigan, home to hundreds ofthousands of Arab Americans and American Muslims. Already, leaders inthe community there -- patriotic Americans who every day give so muchto this country, who have condemned these attacks, and who are assickened by the carnage as everyone else -- have been getting deaththreats. Such hateful prejudice offends us all. Even as we struggleto clear away the rubble and charred wreckage, heal our wounds, mournour dead and seek ultimate justice, Americans must also stand togetheragainst this bigotry."

Congressman David Bonior (D-MI)

"We are a nation of law, and while our response must be decisive, italso must be focused. The civil liberties of all within our bordersare paramount, regardless of who is responsible for these acts ofterror. If we undermine individual rights in reaction to today'sevents, we may win a battle, but hand a victory to the enemies offreedom everywhere."

Congressman Chris Cannon (R-UT)

"We must take the necessary precautions to safeguard our lives andAmerican interests, but we must not relinquish our cherished freedoms."

Congresswoman Eva Clayton (D-NC)

"Just as this horrendous act can destroy us from without, it can alsodestroy us from within. Pearl Harbor led to internment camps ofJapanese-Americans, and today there is a very real danger that thistragedy could result in prejudice, discrimination, and crimes of hateagainst Arab-Americans and others. The lesson Oklahoma City taught uswas the perpetrators of these acts of terror can be evil men of everyrace, nationality and religion as are the victims. We must ensure thatthese acts of terror do not slowly and subversively destroy thefoundation of our democracy: a commitment to equal rights and equalprotection."

Congressman John Conyers (D-MI)

"Frisking everyone on the planet to find the one person with theweapon is a high-cost, low-yield way to go. That's a fair analogy tosearching through everyone's e-mail. Not only do such schemesthreaten civil liberties, they are such scattershot approaches thatthey're bound to fail. ... The notion that we can reorganize everyaspect of civil society to protect against terrorism is fool's gold."

Congressman Christopher Cox (R-CA)

"In striking at us, the terrorists sought to exploit the openness ofour society, and to shake the foundations of the civilized order whichAmerica sustains. They will fail. Our challenge now -- and the testof our democracy -- is to harness our own raw anger and passion. Torespond in a manner that is firm, clear and just; that befits a greatnation; and that honors our own ideals."

Congressman William Delahunt (D-MA)

"We must not direct our anger against innocent citizens of MiddleEastern or South Asian heritage. Our nation is a beacon of justice inthe world and the freedom of our peoples must not be degraded by anyheinous acts of violence. As a nation of a free and proud people, wemust not allow any terrorist attacks to justify violence orpersecution of our fellow citizens, whatever their heritage may be."

Congressman Benjamin Gilman (R-NY)

"We must be bipartisan, balanced, and calm. Panic and partisanshipare our enemies. And as one colleague said this morning, theConstitution of the United States must not be our next casualty. Wemust ... respect the civil liberties and intelligence of Americans.
We are a generous, courageous and resilient Nation. Giveninformation, resources and leadership, the American people will riseto any challenge and fight down any assault to take from us our way oflife."

Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA)

Even at this painful time, we must remember that internationalterrorism cannot be combated by turning our free society into anarmed fortress.

Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ)

"As we move forward in the days to come, we must carefully use wordssuch as 'safety' and 'order,' and we must be cautious when calling foractions that 'need to be taken for the good of the people.' Iencourage my colleagues to be wary of any suggested government actionthat would infringe on our freedoms. Any encroachment of our civilliberties is a victory for the perpetrators of yesterday's heinouscrimes. We must continually bear in mind the words of BenjaminFranklin when he had stated that 'those who would sacrifice theiressential liberty to seek a small portion of temporary safety deserveneither liberty nor safety.' Freedom is not our greatest liability,
it is our greatest asset."

Congressman Timothy Johnson (R-IL)

"We take enormous pride in the freedoms we enjoy. Societies withoutfreedom find it easier to ward off attacks. Yesterday we paid a greatprice for our freedom. We can and will act to reduce the chances ofthese attacks in the future, but we will never give up our freedoms."

Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-NY)

"We will show our resolve to our enemies. America and its citizenswill not abdicate the values and freedoms that have made this nationgreat. We unequivocally declare that today America remains steadfastin its commitment to ensuring that terrorism will not dim the beaconof liberty and freedom."

Congressman John Linder (R-GA)

"The terrorist forces against us would see us brought to our knees andsee us shaking in terror. They would have us back away from thefreedoms we hold dear. But they must be made to understand that thosefreedoms are the result of 200 years of struggle. Nothing within theterrorists' power can daunt this great democracy and its resolve."

Congressman Ken Lucas (D-KY)

"The leaders of our country will now focus on ensuring that justice isserved. We should be rational about our strategy, we will focus onprotecting our future and promise to uphold your freedom and yourevery liberty."

Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT)

"We must not act in haste -- rush to act out our vengeance againstfellow Americans -- because America is the world's greatest meltingpot, and in today's society, we simply cannot guess at an individual'scountry of natural origin by their appearance. We have to make surethat we make war on terrorism -- not on Arabs! We must make a furtherdistinction between the war on terrorism and the war on Americans ofNear or South Asian descent. There have been many references to asecond Pearl Harbor, and while the shock and anger certainly aresimilar and warranted, that anger should not be directed towards ourneighbors in ethnic communities across the country. We do not needthe attitudes that will lead to a second wave of internment camps."

Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA)

"America must also stand firm, though, in its commitment to civilliberties for all of our people. In the coming months and years, allof us will have to make accommodations to heightened security at ourairports, Federal buildings, and other large landmarks. We can andmust make those accommodations and in a manner that is whollyconsistent with the U.S. Constitution."

Congressman James Moran (D-VA)

"[A]ll New Yorkers understand and feel empathy for those who lost lovedones on hijacked flights. New Yorkers, and indeed all Americans, willremember those victims at the Pentagon, for putting their lives atrisk and paying the ultimate price, so that we can live our lives infreedom. In the end, that is what this comes down to -- our freedom.
To the majority of the world, our nation stands as a beacon of hope.
To those who want to crush freedom, to have people live in fear, ournation stands as a rebuke as well as a threat. However, what thoseenemies of freedom fail to understand is that no amount of physicaldamage can kill the ideals for which this nation stands. Just asPearl Harbor roused the sleeping giant to crush those who attacked it,
this nation must crush those who have declared war on us now. [...]
Today, we stand united, to mourn our losses, but determined to showthe resolve upon which nation has always prided itself, as we rebuild.
We will show the strength that can only be found in a free people. Inthe words of Lincoln, today, "we here highly resolve that these deadshall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have anew birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by thepeople, for the people shall not perish from the earth."

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)

"Demanding domestic security in times of war invites carelessness inpreserving civil liberties and the right of privacy. Frequently thepeople are only too anxious for their freedoms to be sacrificed on thealtar of authoritarianism thought to be necessary to remain safe andsecure. Nothing would please the terrorists more than if we willinglygave up some of our cherished liberties while defending ourselves fromtheir threat."

Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)

"[W]e must not let these attacks on our country weaken our resolve tomaintain a free and open society that all countries can emulate. Wemust now show the world that our country will continue to stand strongin the face of tragedy. We must show the cowards responsible thatthey will not win."

Congressman David Phelps (D-IL)

"It has been said that America will never be the same again -- that wehave crossed a threshold of innocence. That may be so, but in ourzeal to provide a new level of security, we must guard against goingso far that we trade away the rights and privileges of a free society.
In reacting to this incident, we must not allow the hate of ourattackers to destroy our own decency and commitment to justice."

Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY)

"Additionally, as we consider legislation to address this crisis, eachproposal must be passed before the great lens of the Constitution, thecornerstone of our Republic and our freedoms."

-Congresswoman Lynn Rivers (D-MI)

"As we console the families of the victims, as we remind ourselvesabout the core American values of freedom and democracy, and as wemake plans to deal with the terrorists, we must remember who we are asa people. We are the participants of a great democratic undertaking,
a national project which stands as an example for the rest of theworld. We have a duty to perfect and protect our Nation, and we mustnever be swayed from the road towards freedom and democracy forourselves and as a beacon for the planet."

Congressman Ron Underwood (D-Guam)

"Finally, in the process of combating international terrorism, we mustneither abandon American civil liberties nor express our fears andanger by indiscriminately striking out against those with differentnames, skin color or religion."

-Congressman David Wu (D-OR)

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About EPIC

The Electronic Privacy Information Center is a public interestresearch center in Washington, DC. It was established in 1994 tofocus public attention on emerging privacy issues such as the ClipperChip, the Digital Telephony proposal, national ID cards, medicalrecord privacy, and the collection and sale of personal information.
EPIC publishes the EPIC Alert, pursues Freedom of Information Actlitigation, and conducts policy research. For more information,
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END EPIC Alert 8.17


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