On September 20, 2001 at the National Press Club in Washington, more than 150 organizations, 300 law professors, and 40 computer scientists expressed support for the following declaration:

IN DEFENSE OF FREEDOM

1. On September 11, 2001 thousands of people lost their lives in a brutal assault on the American people and the American form of government. We mourn the loss of these innocent lives and insist that those who perpetrated these acts be held accountable.

2. This tragedy requires all Americans to examine carefully the steps our country may now take to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks.

3. We need to consider proposals calmly and deliberately with a determination not to erode the liberties and freedoms that are at the core of the American way of life.

4. We need to ensure that actions by our government uphold the principles of a democratic society, accountable government and international law, and that all decisions are taken in a manner consistent with the Constitution.

5. We can, as we have in the past, in times of war and of peace, reconcile the requirements of security with the demands of liberty.

6. We should resist the temptation to enact proposals in the mistaken belief that anything that may be called anti-terrorist will necessarily provide greater security.

7. We should resist efforts to target people because of their race, religion, ethnic background or appearance, including immigrants in general, Arab Americans and Muslims.

8. We affirm the right of peaceful dissent, protected by the First Amendment, now, when it is most at risk.

9. We should applaud our political leaders in the days ahead who have the courage to say that our freedoms should not be limited.

10. We must have faith in our democratic system and our Constitution, and in our ability to protect at the same time both the freedom and the security of all Americans.
by:
National Press Club
http://www.indefenseoffreedom.org/
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Reader comments about this quote:
Generally a good statement, fraught with contradictions...and the politicians we are to applaud paid no attention whatever. "Security" is an illusion.
 -- J Carlton, Calgary     
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    Security, freedom, patriot act, anti-terrorism, the constitution (what's left of it) and democracy, are all an illusion - the answer is simple - STOP BEING A PART OF THE SYSTEM - GO LOCAL, BANK LOCAL (with a law that the bank can only remain in the community) GROW YOUR OWN FOOD, STOP EATING MEAT, STOP BUYING PRODUCTS OUTSIDE THE COMMUNITY, BELIEVE IN COMMUNITY POWER, START A COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AND MEDIA STATION. There are a number of communities in America that are nearly self-sufficient, like Burlington in Vermont. Carlton, please add to the above or make corrections. Your views are important.
     -- Robken     
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    I agree with Carlton and mostly with Robken. The police state / democratic system that now infests this land continues its tyrannous and despotic expansion, by way of example: the newest extension vote on the Patriot Act. The National Press Club is just another anti-freedom / liberty / inalienable rights demagoguery of the governmental media complex, or 4th branch of government. To work for the most local form of government / self-sufficiency and then extend from there in harmony with the laws of nature and of nature's God written on our hearts would be a great start.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Great quotes, but point #4 really falls short. We (the people) need to understand the difference between a democracy (rule by the majority) and a republic (rule by law ... i.e. "Constitutional rule"). Unfortunately the two systems are often confused as being the same. History has shown that a democracy always reduces to mob rule and then falls apart into a dictaorship/oligarchy. The following video does an excellent job in describing the crucial differences: (http://www.flixxy.com/political-systems.htm)
     -- Troy M., Kitchener, Ontario, Canada     
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    From: The End of America--- 10 steps that close an open society . 1. invoke an internal and external threat . People who are afraid are willing to do things that they wouldn’t otherwise do. 2. establish secret (unaccountable) prisons where torture takes place. In a secret system, the government does not have to provide any proof of wrongdoing by those it holds, so it can incarcerate anyone it wants. 3. develop a paramilitary force . A private military force — under the exclusive direction of the “commander in chief” with no accountability to Congress, the courts, or the public — blurs the line between a civilian police force and a militarized police state. 4. surveil ordinary citizens. People who believe they are being watched are less likely to voice opposition. To scare a population into silence, the government need only monitor the activities of a few to make everyone fear that they are being surveilled. Every closed society keeps a “list” of so-called opponents it tracks. 5. infiltrate citizen’s groups. Spies in activist groups put psychological pressure on genuine activists by undermining their trust in one another. They may also disrupt legal activities, undermining the effectiveness of group efforts. 6. detain and release ordinary citizens . Detention intimidates or psychologically damages those arrested and also lets everyone know that anyone could be labeled an “enemy combatant” and “disappeared.” 7. target key individuals . People are less likely to speak out when those who are highly visible, like journalists, scholars, artists, or celebrities, are intimidated or have their livelihoods threatened. Targeting those who are especially visible makes it less likely that people will speak out and robs society of leaders and others who might inspire opposition. 8. restrict the press. The public is less likely to find out about government wrongdoing if the government can threaten to prosecute anyone who publishes or broadcasts reports that are critical of the government. 9. recast criticism as espionage and dissent as treason . People who protest can be charged with terrorism or treason when laws criminalize or limit free speech rather than protect it. 10. subvert the rule of law . The disappearance of checks and balances makes it easier to declare martial law, especially if the judiciary branch continues to exercise authority over individuals but has no authority over the Executive branch.
     -- Abigail     
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    "We need to ensure that actions by our government uphold the principles of a democratic society, accountable government and international law, and that all decisions are taken in a manner consistent with the Constitution." International Law? Our elected and appointed representatives take an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution/Rule of Law. They do not take an oath to uphold "International Law." As Troy M. stated - "History has shown that a democracy always reduces to mob rule and then falls apart into a dictaorship/oligarchy." The United Stated of America was founded as a Limited Republic that places unalienable rights of the individual to protect them from a despotic and dictatorial government!
     -- Mary - MI     
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    http://youtu.be/gEBOTLn5Vf8 EDUCATE YOURSELF We just lost our freedom!!!! We are no longer being served....we are being ruled!!!!
     -- Abigail     
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    I do not know why the people in this country do not know our form of government. We are a Constitutional republic and not a democracy. The only thing we do democratically is to elect our representatives in Washington and our respective states.
     -- Joseph S, Walnut     
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    There is a reason it says to only click once...and we are not being represented anymore at a federal level. Join www.rlc.org for it is an attempt to reconnect with our founding principles...lost with the giving up of power in the congress to the executive branch. Tyranny is the absence of balance of power.
     -- Abigail     
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    Enabling a Future American Dictator These are truly troubling days for liberty in the United States. Last week the 60 day deadline for the president to gain congressional approval for our military engagement in Libya under the War Powers Resolution came and went. The media scarcely noticed. The bombings continued. We had a hearing on Capitol Hill on the subject, but the administration refuses to bother with the legality of its new war. It is unclear if Mr. Obama will ever obtain congressional consent, and astonishingly it is being argued that he doesn't need it. Article 1 Section 8 of the Constitution begs to differ. It clearly states that the power to declare war rests within the legislative branch - the branch closest to the people. The founders were a war-weary people, and the requirement that it would take an act of Congress to go to war was intentional. They believed war was not to be entered into lightly, so they resisted granting such decision making authority to one person. They objected to absolute warmaking power granted to Kings. It would be incredibly nave to think a dictator could not or would not wrest power in this country. Our Presidents can now, on their own: order assassinations, including American citizens; operate secret military tribunals; engage in torture; enforce indefinite imprisonment without due process; order searches and seizures without proper warrants, gutting the 4th Amendment; ignore the 60 day rule for reporting to the Congress the nature of any military operations as required by the War Power Resolution; continue the Patriot Act abuses without oversight; wage war at will; and treat all Americans as suspected terrorists at airports with TSA groping and nude x-rays. Americans who are not alarmed by all of this are either not paying close attention, or are too trusting of current government officials to be concerned. Those in power right now might be trustworthy, upstanding people. But what of the leaders of the future? They will inherit all the additional powers we cede to the current position holders. Can we trust that they will not take advantage? Today's best intentions create loopholes and opportunities for tomorrow's tyrants. Perhaps the most troubling power grab of late is the mission creep associated with the 9/11 attacks and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Initiated as targeted strikes against the perpetrators of 9/11, a decade later we are still at war. With whom? Last week Congress passed a Defense Authorization bill with some very disturbing language that explicitly extends the president's war powers to just about anybody. Section 1034 of that bill states that we are at war with the Taliban, al Qaeda, and associated forces. Who are the associated forces? It also includes anyone who has supported hostilities in aid of an organization that substantially supports these associated forces. This authorization is not limited by geography, and it has no sunset provision. It doesn't matter if these associated forces are American citizens. Your constitutional rights no longer apply when the United States is "at war" with you. Would it be so hard for someone in the government to target a political enemy and connect them to al Qaeda, however tenuously, and have them declared an associated force? My colleague Congressman Justin Amash spearheaded an effort to have this troubling language removed, but unfortunately it failed by a vote of 234 to 187. It is unfortunate indeed, that so many in Congress accept unlimited warmaking authority in the hands of the executive branch. Texas Straight Talk Ron Paul....right again
     -- Abigail     
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    It's a nice sentiment, not sure if this was meant to serve as a disclaimer for once the press fell into line and parroted whatever the President(s) told them to. But we can see that indeed, 9/11 was used to do the very things the Press Corps declaration stood against. Yes, the 'international law' line is no accident, as the press sees itself as a global watchdog. But I do not have a big problem with the word 'democratic' which is indeed a facet of the American legislative system. The word 'democracy' was not used, and democratic is limited by the Constitution. It would be nice to hear the press use the words 'Liberty' and 'inalienable rights' instead of democratic -- has everyone forgotten that it is because of our Liberty and our rights that we are able to be democratic at all, and that not everything is up for a vote?
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    I think I may not particiapate if my name will be used when I wish to remain anon.
     -- Anonymous     
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    Please pick an alias and stick with it. Especially if you are going to leave multiple posts for one quote. We have enough anonymous posters. We sincerely appreciate your comments -- better if we can put a name to them. We will soon require some name or town to be entered in order to post comments. Posting under numerous aliases is not permitted. Thanks.
     -- Editor, Liberty Quotes     
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    Excellent! thank you all - Editor, yes, I agree, the only reason I went Anonymous was because of the trite personal comments. So, let's see if we have matured.................... I will use Robken from now on....................
     -- Robken     
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    @Robken, I enjoy your posts. No worries, mate! __Abigail has posted some terrific things today. Thanks! America is in deep trouble, which has been worsening for decades while many like me slept.
     -- Byron, Fort Collins, CO     
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    The authoritative point of view, it is tempting
     -- gevaDisse, Germany     
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