Ron Paul – The Revolution: A Manifesto – Page 123 through Page 127

Page 123: In 2007 Ron Paul introduced a piece of legislation called the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007. The act repeals the Military Commissions Act of 2006, forbids evidence obtained by torture, subjects intelligence gathering activities by the executive branch to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, give congress the legal right to contest presidential signing statements in court, and clarifies that the Espionage Act of 1917 does not prohibit journalists from publishing information obtained from the executive branch or congress unless doing so would cause clear and immediate danger to the people of the United States. Under the act, the president may establish military courts to try war crime suspects.

Page 124: Under the proposed American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007, the president would not be allowed to detain individuals indefinitely without presenting convincing evidence that the person was engaged in direct hostilities against the United States. It would be illegal to detain American Citizens as enemy combatants. The act would prohibit all kidnapping and torture based on nothing more than the president’s orders. Any rendition would have to be in strict compliance with international law. It is incredible that this type of legislation even needs to be passed in the US. These are core founding principles of the US. It is common to use the excuse that during wartime the constitution can be ignored. But if the wars are undeclared and never end, we may end up abandoning the constitution permanently.

Quote: “But if the president claims extraordinary wartime powers, and if we fight undeclared wars with no beginning and no end, when if ever will those extraordinary powers lapse?”

Page 125: Like the war on terror, the war on drugs has caused serious negative consequences. The job of the government is not to eliminate the bad habits or perfect the moral character of the people. There are other institutions in society that are much more appropriate for such a role. A multitude of research exists to show that the war on drugs has actually made street crime and gang activity worse. This is a common occurrence when government prohibition creates a black market. Minority neighborhoods have been disproportionately affected by the war on drugs. It is difficult to teach a child sound morals when the most affluent people in the neighborhood are the ones who get rich selling drugs on the black market.

Page 126: Discontinuing the drug war would put drug lords out of business and starve them of the resources they need to terrorize neighborhoods. More and more conservatives are beginning to speak out against the war on drugs. Thomas Sowell has urged the government to recognize that it is impossible to keep people from using drugs and that decriminalization would at least put drug kingpins out of business. Thomas Aquinas argued centuries ago that not all vices should be illegal. Laws are meant to prohibit actions that cause direct physical harm to others. It is impossible for the law to change a person’s moral fiber. The law should, however, provide peace and order.

Quote (Thomas Sowell): “What would make still more sense [than the current policy] would be to admit that we are not God, that we cannot live other people’s lives or save people who don’t want to be saved, and to take the profits out of drugs by decriminalizing them. That is what destroyed the bootleggers’ gangs after prohibition was repealed.”

Quote: “The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous.”

Page 127: It is vital to recognize the other institutions, besides the law, that influence human conduct. Families and communities have an obligation to teach morality to individuals. Citizens must not delegate to the government their responsibility to educate their family and loved ones on proper moral conduct. The commencement of the federal war drugs was based on stunning racism and ignorance. At least those who favored prohibition understood that the constitution did not permit them to ban substances. That is why, when prohibition started, alcohol was not made illegal as such but rather a huge tax was placed on the purchase of alcohol. The tax was so high that nobody could afford it and when people were caught with alcohol they were charged with tax evasion. A close study of the history of marijuana criminalization shows that a hatred of Mexicans was a driving force. In the Texas senate, one senator actually declared “All Mexicans are crazy, and this stuff is what makes them crazy.”

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