Chuck Baldwin, Founder and Minister of the Crossroad Baptist Church in Pensacola, FL, issued the following statement through his Communications Director, Mary Starrett, in an Aug. 11, 2008 email to ProCon.org:
"I want you to understand that the FBI used, under the rubrique [sic] of the PATRIOT Act, the laws that were provided in that act in order to spy and eventually to humiliate Governor Spitzer. But we were told, were we not? that the PATRIOT Act would never be used against American people. It was only designed to spy on foreign terrorists. I'm not defending Governor Spitzer; I'm trying to show you the dangers of giving unlimited, unconstitutional power to a government that does not have checks and balances intended by our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The USA PATRIOT Act permits arrests without warrants and secret detention without counsel, wiretaps without court supervision, searches and seizures without notification to the individual whose property is invaded, and a host of other violations of the legal safeguards our nation has historically developed according to principles descending from the Fourth and Fifth Amendments. Since we will no longer have a free nation while the federal government (or the governments of the several states, as the federal government may authorize) can violate our historic rights under such laws, we call for the rejection of all such laws and the ceasing of any such further proposals including the aforementioned Domestic Securities Enhancement Act." Aug. 11, 2008 Chuck Baldwin
Bob Barr, former US House Representative (R-GA), in a June 29, 2008 interview on FOX News Sunday with Chris Wallace, stated:
Chris Wallace: "What about voting...for the PATRIOT Act?
Bob Barr: "With regard to the PATRIOT Act I have fought over the last five years since leaving the Congress to limit or better even yet repeal the PATRIOT Act. I was able in the Congress to secure a number of sunset provisions for the provisions in the PATRIOT Act so we could have the opportunity to go back and review them and look at them. The powers in the PATRIOT Act have been used and abused by the Bush Administration far in excess of what the Congress intended for it. It's those abuses that have led I and a lot of other folks that voted for it, under false pretenses essentially, to work against it." June 29, 2008 Bob Barr
John McCain, US Senator (R-AZ), according to "Legislation: 2005-2006 (109th Congress)" on the Library of Congress: THOMAS website, voted Yes on the "USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005" (HR3199) on July 29, 2005:
"To extend and modify authorities needed to combat terrorism, and for other purposes."
And voted Yes on the "USA PATRIOT Improvement and Reauthorization Act of 2005" (HR3199) on Mar. 1, 2006:
"A bill to clarify that individuals who receive FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] orders can challenge nondisclosure requirements, that individuals who receive national security letters are not required to disclose the name of their attorney, that libraries are not wire or electronic communication service providers unless they provide specific services, and for other purposes." July 29, 2005, Mar. 1, 2006; Library of Congress: THOMAS
Cynthia McKinney, former US House Representative (D-GA), in a Feb. 9, 2004 article titled "Speech: Cynthia McKinney Calls for Unity, Concerted Activism, Black Ballot Power" on The Black Commentator website, stated:
"...[T]he environment created by the Patriot Act exacerbates the already-existent problem of injustice and a lack of civil liberties for black America. The situation before the Patriot Act was bad for black America. The Patriot Act and its sister, the Intelligence Authorization Act for FY2004, only expand the opportunities for bad things to happen." Feb. 9, 2004Cynthia McKinney
Ralph Nader, attorney, author, and political activist, stated in a June 21, 2004 The American Conservative article titled "Ralph Nader: Conservatively Speaking":
"Conservatives are also upset about the Patriot Act, which they view as big government, privacy-invading, snooping, and excessive surveillance. They are not inaccurate in that respect." June 21, 2004 Ralph Nader
Barack Obama, US Senator (D-IL), in a Dec. 15, 2005 article titled "Senate Floor Statement of Senator Barack Obama on The PATRIOT Act" on his US Senate website, stated:
"...[I]t's come time to reauthorize this law, we've been working in a bipartisan way to do both - to show the American people that we can track down terrorists without trampling on our civil liberties. To show the American people that the federal government will only issue warrants and execute searches because it needs to, not because it can. What we have been trying to achieve, under the leadership of a bipartisan group of Senators, is some accountability in this process - to get answers and see evidence where there is suspicion...
There have been proposals on both sides of Congress, from both parties, to extend the PATRIOT Act for three months so that we can reach agreement on this bill. I support those efforts..." Dec. 15, 2005 Barack Obama
[Editor's Note: Prior to Barack Obama's Dec. 15, 2005 Not Clearly Pro or Con position above, his position was Con as indicated in his statement from a Sep. 10, 2003 www.abcnews.com article titled "Illinois NOW Questionnaire for Senator Barack Obama"]
"I would vote to repeal the US Patriot Act, although I would consider replacing that shoddy and dangerous law with a new, carefully crafted propsal that addressed in a much more limited fashion the legitimate needs of law enforcement in combating terrorism." Sep. 10, 2003 Barack Obama
(Candidates who have withdrawn or who no longer meet our criteria appear
below in black and white and in alphabetical order by party.)
Hillary Clinton, US Senator (D-NY), stated in a Feb. 5, 2008 "LAist Interview: Senator Hillary Clinton" on LAist.com:
"I supported the Patriot Act but I'm working to improve it. I want to make sure that it strikes the proper balance between securing our safety and safeguarding our liberties. That's why I fought for a better balance in the reauthorization, including the right to challenge gag rules and an end to unfettered searches of library records, and that's why I insisted on shorter sunset periods in the reauthorization so that Congress can revisit those provisions that are susceptible to possible abuse. While we all recognize the importance of equipping our law enforcement with the tools they need to effectively combat terror, we also must ensure that those tools work in a way that respects our values." Feb. 5, 2008 Hillary Clinton
Mike Gravel, former US Senator (D-AK), in a Feb. 5, 2007 article titled "10 Questions With Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Mike Gravel" on dullardmush.blogspot.com, stated:
"...[I]t is illegal and unconstitutional to eliminate or weaken government checks and balances. The federal government cannot just eradicate judicial process. Once again, the Democrats are guilty of complicity with the illegalities of the Bush administration. Russ Feingold is the only Democratic Senator to have originally voted against it [the PATRIOT Act]." Feb. 5, 2007Mike Gravel
Alan Keyes, former Assistant US Secretary of State, stated in a June 8, 2007 article titled "The Key to American Statesmanship: Part 5 of 'The Crisis of the Republic'" on his official candidate website:
"The debates in Congress over the so-called Patriot Act have highlighted potential threats to individual constitutional rights and liberties. Our politicians have engaged in extended debates about how much of a sacrifice of freedom our safety requires. But their first sworn duty is not to our safety. It's not even to our individual rights and liberties. It's to preserve our Constitution, which establishes government of, by, and for the people. As we formulate our policies in response to terror, therefore, the first responsibility of our leaders is to make sure that what we do to secure our physical safety also preserves and strengthens our capacity for self-government." June 8, 2007Alan Keyes
Ron Paul, US Representative (R-TX), stated in a May 22, 2007 article titled "In the Name of Patriotism (Who are the Patriots?)" on the Ron Paul Library website:
"The accelerated attacks on liberty started quickly after 9/11. Within weeks the Patriot Act was overwhelmingly passed by Congress. Though the final version was unavailable up to a few hours before the vote - no Member had sufficient time to read or understand it - political fear of 'not doing something,' even something harmful, drove Members of Congress to not question the contents and just vote for it. A little less freedom for a little more perceived safety was considered a fair tradeoff - and the majority of Americans applauded.
The Patriot Act, though, severely eroded the system of checks and balances by giving the government the power to spy on law abiding citizens without judicial supervision. The several provisions that undermine the liberties of all Americans include: sneak and peak searches; a broadened and more vague definition of domestic terrorism; allowing the FBI access to libraries and bookstore records without search warrants or probable cause; easier FBI initiation of wiretaps and searches, as well as roving wiretaps; easier access to information on American citizens' use of the internet; and easier access to e-mail and financial records of all American citizens." May 22, 2007 Ron Paul