Some commentators and so-called experts have been quick to suggest that we will have to give up rights and freedoms in order to achieve greater security against the terrorist threat. They are wrong. The liberties of America's citizens do not facilitate terrorism--rather it is the liberties we have wrongly allowed to non-citizens. Because so many of us are the heirs of America's immigrant tradition, we have been tempted to lose sight of the common-sense truth that we have the right to maintain and enforce the distinction between those who are citizens and those who are not. We have the right to scrutinize more carefully the access and activities of non-citizens, and to bar from our ports of entry or expel any non-citizens who we believe are involved with or abet the terrorist threat. With fairness, but without apology, we must implement a regime that secures the borders and gateways of the nation.
2. Congressman Ron Paul
Times of tragedy and war naturally bring out strong emotions in all of us. Yet we must be careful to preserve personal liberty and privacy rights in the months ahead. Sometimes the people are only too anxious to sacrifice their constitutional liberties during a crisis, hoping to gain some measure of security. Yet nothing would please the terrorists more than if we willingly gave up some of our cherished liberties because of their actions.
3. Paul Weyrich (9/12/01) "Don't Let the Terrorists Achieve Their Greatest Victory"
After this horrendous series of attacks our new FBI Director has suggested that we may have to limit some of our freedoms in order to deal with terrorists. The truth is that if we further emasculate our Constitution the terrorists will have achieved the greatest victory imaginable. Their triumph won't just be the thousands of people they killed, the triumph will be if they see our democratic institutions crumble.