Sunday, January 25, 2009

So what's Bob Barr up to?

The former presidential candidate has not faded into that good night, he's still out there sharing what he thinks on a variety of topics on his personal website, Like this recent recommended piece on Guantanamo, Torture, and Tribunals. Part of the thoughts he shared:

Barr, long a critic of steps taken by the former administration of George W. Bush to undermine civil liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights by, among other things, conducting electronic surveillance of U.S. citizens in their own country without court order and without any evidence of wrongdoing, said he "hopes these steps taken by the new president will be followed by further actions reestablishing the rule of law and respect for our Constitution that has been dramatically and unnecessarily eroded over the past seven years of the preceding administration." For example, Barr said, "I hope President Obama will seek legislation curtailing the dramatic expansion of federal wiretapping power signed into law last July when former President Bush signed legislation expanding the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that now makes every international phone call or e-mail by or to any person in the United States subject to warrantless surveillance."

Barr also noted that arguments by supporters of these controversial powers that closing the prison at Guantanamo will increase dangers to America are unfounded, insofar as "any detainees against whom the government has evidence of terrorist acts, can try them or detain them in maximum security prisons, in military brigs, or in US military facilities overseas if necessary." Moreover, Barr said, "the government has more than sufficient intelligence, military and law enforcement tools that are consistent with constitutional guarantees in the Bill of Rights, to provide robust and essential security for our country."

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