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BYRD: "Securing America without Destroying Liberties"

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Government fishing expeditions with search warrants written by FBI agents is not what the Framers had in mind. Spying on ordinary unsuspecting citizens without their knowledge is not what the Framers had in mind. Handing the government unilateral authority to keep all evidence secret from a target so that it may never be challenged in a court of law is not what the Framers had in mind. Yesterday we heard reports that the military has spied on Americans simply because they exercised their right to peaceably assemble and to speak their minds. Today we hear that the military is tapping phone lines in our own country without the consent of a judge. Labeling civil disobedience and political dissent as "domestic terrorism" is not what the Framers had in mind. Our nation is the most powerful nation in the world because we were founded on a principle of liberty. Benjamin Franklin said that "those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety." Our founding fathers, intent on addressing the abuses they have suffered at the hands of an over zealous government, established a system of checks and balances, ensuring that there is a separation of powers within government, so that no one body may run amok with its agenda. These checks are what safeguard freedom, and the American people are looking to us now to restore and protect that freedom. So many have died protecting those freedoms. We owe it to those brave men and women to deliberate meaningfully, and to ultimately protect those freedoms Americans cherish so deeply. The American people deserve nothing less. [And they earned a great deal more...]

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