Ron Paul – The Revolution: A Manifesto – Page 118 through Page 122

Page 118: As early as the 1970’s, conservative intellectual Robert Nibset was warning about the ever expanding surveillance state. He pointed out that is was FDR, starting during WWII, who was the first to use the power of government to pry into the private lives of citizens. According to Nibset, it had only gotten worse by the time he began to speak out. Judge Andrew Napolitano makes the point that it is we who should be spying on the government, not the other way around. After all, it is the tax dollars of the American citizens that pay their bills. This was the position of the founding fathers as well.

Quote (Judge Andrew Napolitano) : “Why should government agents spy on us? They work for us. How about we spy on them? On cops when they arrest and interrogate people or contemplate suspending freedom; on prosecutors when the decide whom to prosecute and what evidence to use; on judges when they rationalize away our guaranteed rights; and on the members of Congress whenever they meet with a lobbyist, mark up a piece of legislation, or conspire to assault our liberties or our pocketbooks.”

Page 119: It is imperative that citizens stand up for their rights. There are serious consequences at stake. In a presidential signing statement, the president has claimed the power to torture, in spite of existing laws against it. American citizens must never tolerate torture by their government. Without exception, it is immoral. It has been proven that torture victims do not provide reliable intelligence. Further, torture increases the likelihood that Americans will be tortured in retaliation. Throughout history, presidents have used their commander-in-chief powers during wartime to trample the liberty of Americans. For this reason, Americans must be especially jealous of their rights during times of crisis.

Quote: “First of all, legal issues aside, the American people and government should never abide the use of torture by our military or intelligence agencies. A decent society never accepts or justifies torture.”

Page 120: War and national emergencies cannot and do not justify comprising the guaranteed rights of American citizens. The right of habeas corpus has come under attack. Under the Military Commissions Act of 2006, the executive branch has the power to detain people endlessly without giving detainees a chance to answer the charges against them. This occurred in the case of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, a citizen of Qatar. He was living in America legally in 2001 when he was charged with making false statements during an investigation of 9/11. His trial was scheduled for July 2003, but before the case got under way the president claimed he was an “enemy combatant”. The charges against him were dropped by the civilian court and he was sent to a military prison, indefinitely. The president must not have the right to send people to military prisons without allowing the accused to answer the charges against them.

Page 121: None of this is meant to imply that criminals and terrorists should be let loose. It means that according to the constitution, people have a right to know and respond to the charges brought against them. Jose Padilla was originally accused of plotting to set off a dirty bomb in a major American city. He was never charged with that crime. He was, however, declared an “enemy combatant” and taken to a military prison without any charges brought against him. In prison, he was subjected to various types of torture. It is unacceptable that an American president has the right to detain American citizens indefinitely, without bringing them to trial, and to subject them to torture.

Quote: “Kept in solitary confinement, Padilla was subjected to variations of sleep deprivation. Noxious fumes were introduced into his cell. His cell was made extremely cold for long periods of time. He was drugged, disoriented, and threatened with all manner of gruesome fates.”

Page 122: Americans must not forget the core principles that this country was founded upon. It is absurd to believe that the government will only use these powers on bad guys. In April 2006, Associated Press photographer Bilal Hussein was taken into custody by the American military in Iraq. No charges were brought against him. The Associated Press demanded that charges be brought against him or that he be released. For some time, the government did neither. Finally, Bilal Hussein was charged with kidnapping two journalists in Ramadi. The charges proved to be incredibly erroneous. The kidnapped journalists reported that Bilal Hussein had actually helped them to safety after their release. American citizens must not allow this travesty to continue.

Quote: “How can we not be concerned about such a thing? Have we been so blinded by propaganda that we have forgotten basic American principles, and legal guarantees that extend back to our British forbears eight centuries ago?”


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