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    Volume 8.17                                 September 17, 2001
                             Published by the
               Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC)
                             Washington, D.C.
Special EPIC Alert
Over the last several days our nation's leaders have confronted the
greatest national crisis of our generation.  It is a difficult time in
Washington, as it is across the country.
We would like to bring to your attention words of courage and hope
that have been spoken in Washington during the past week.  Members of
Congress from all parties, from  across the country, and of all
political views have expressed their support for preserving America's
freedoms, for safeguarding America's ideals.
We know that when countries give up liberties, they make sacrifices,
not trade-offs, and what is lost may never be recovered.  In the days
ahead, let us move forward together to safeguard that which is most
precious -- a system of government, the rule of law, and the principle
of freedom that seeks to protect the rights of each person and the
security of us all.
Marc Rotenberg
Electronic Privacy Information Center
"[On September 11, 2001,] our fellow citizens, our way of life, our
very freedom, came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly
terrorist acts. . . .  America has stood down enemies before, and we
will do so this time.  None of us will ever forget this day.  Yet, we
go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our
     --President George W. Bush
"[A]s we respond here at home to what we learn from these attacks, is
that this is a country that understands that people have fundamental
God-given rights and liberties and our government is constituted to
protect those rights.  We cannot -- in our efforts to bring justice --
diminish those liberties.  Clearly this is not a simple, normal
criminal case.  This is an act of war, and those rules of warfare may
apply.  But here at home and domestically, we need to make sure that
we're not tempted to abrogate any civil rights such as habeas corpus,
protections against unreasonable searches and seizures, the freedom of
expression and peaceable assembly, or freedom of religion.  And just
because somebody may come from an ethnic background, that means
nothing in the exercise of their rights as citizens. They are American
citizens.  And so let's make sure that in our anger and in our efforts
to bring justice, we remember our basic foundational civil liberties
and not abrogate them."
     --Senator George Allen (R-VA)
"The challenge ahead will require strengthening U.S. defenses and
intelligence at home in ways consistent with American values.
Embassies and military bases must be better defended along with
domestic airports and other civilian targets.  But this does not mean
that we can allow terrorists to alter the fundamental openness of U.S.
society or the government's respect for civil liberties.  If we do so,
they will have won."
     --Senator Max Baucus (D-MT)
"Some have said yesterday and today that all has changed, all has
changed for America.  I know what they mean by that, and I respect
their view, but I pray that is not true.  I pray that is not true.  I
pray my junior colleague from Virginia is correct when he says the one
thing we cannot allow to change is the values upon which this country
is built, for if that were to occur, then they would be able to
declare victory, genuine victory."
     --Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE)
"Attacking this country is not enough to defeat it.  It never has
been.  That's something our enemies have discovered again and again.
America's history is the story of a nation, of a people, that has
repeatedly overcome what seemed like insurmountable challenges --
fueled by our individual liberty, our respect for the rule of law, and
our belief in the value of every human life.  America began as a
nation by overcoming tyranny.  We will continue by overcoming
terrorism.  And we will do it without sacrificing who we are as
Americans.  We will do it by upholding the principles of 'liberty and
justice for all.'"
     --Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
"A time of crisis is one of the greatest tests of a democracy.  Our
nation is rooted in the fundamental principles of freedom and justice.
It is during these times of conflict, and fear, that we need to
protect those principles the most.  These principles must guide our
actions in the days, weeks, and months to come. . . .  We must never
allow terrorists to gain any victory over us by diminishing our
country's respect for individual liberty and freedom.  . . .  Let us
remember that the Constitution was written in 1789 by men who had won
the Revolutionary War.  They did not live in comfortable and easy
times of hypothetical enemies.  They wrote a Constitution to protect
individual liberties in times of war as well as in times of peace."
     --Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI)
"Our values, our resolve, our commitment, our sense of community will
serve us well.  I am confident that, as a nation, we will seek and
serve justice.  Our Nation, my neighbors and friends in Vermont demand
no less, but we must not let the terrorists win.  If we abandon our
democracy to battle them, they win.  If we forget our role as the
world's leader to defeat them, they win.  And we will win.  We will
maintain our democracy, and with justice, we will use our strength. We
will not lose our commitment to the rule of law, no matter how much
the provocation, because that rule of law has protected us throughout
the centuries.  It has created our democracy.  It has made us what we
are in history."
     --Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
"In truth, the people of this country are big in heart and strong in
character.  We will maintain our open society and fight terrorism
around the globe with freedom loving peoples everywhere.  And we will
     --Congressman Tom Allen (D-ME)
"There will be ... inconvenience.  But we will not violate people's
basic rights as we make this nation more secure.  We can do that in
democracies.  It can't be done in tyrannies, because tyrannies do not
enjoy the general good will and support of the people who are willing
to suffer inconvenience and good nature with a confidence that the
nation will protect their rights."
     --Congressman Dick Armey (R-TX)
"What we must avoid, however, is the knee-jerk reaction to pass more
laws restricting the civil liberties of American citizens.  The
tragedies of this attack will only be compounded by giving the
government more power at the expense of our civil liberties.  If we
cannot stop this sort of attack with all of the power our government
agencies already have, then we are in very serious trouble."
     --Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA)
"In responding to this heinous attack, we must reaffirm our commitment
to uphold our Constitution, including the rights guaranteed to every
American in the Bill of Rights.  These precious rights have been
secured by the blood and sacrifices of Americans for more than 225
years.  I am confident in the ability of today's generation of
Americans to honor those sacrifices and the memories of those killed
in the attacks on September 11, 2001.  We have an obligation to
overcome this latest challenge to freedom while honoring our
Constitution and preserving the rights it guarantees for ourselves,
our children, and our children's children."
     --Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD)
"[I]n the coming days, there may be some calls to assess blame and to
limit the individual liberties and freedoms we enjoy as Americans.  I
urge my colleagues to resist these efforts, no matter how well
intended.  The founding principle of our nation is the right to pursue
life, liberty and happiness, and we must recognize the risks that we
assume with our freedom.  The lives of each American [were] changed
forever by the awful acts carried out yesterday.  But we must not
sacrifice our freedoms, and our way of life in the name of fear to
those who seek a weakened, disconnected America.  To use fear as a
means to limit our freedom will only serve the goals of those who
undertook these heinous attacks against America.  Today is the day to
recognize the abiding strength of our nation and tell the world, in
particular those who seek to cause our nation harm, that the Americans
who perished on September 11, 2001 did not do so in vain.
     --Congressman Ken Bentsen (D-TX)
"As the dust settles, we find ourselves confronting an enemy that is
both evil and elusive.  But the world must know that, today, America
stands stronger than ever -- a nation sworn to defend freedom,
tolerance, diversity and democracy.  Those terrorists who attempt to
extinguish our spirit must know that these are ideals we Americans
will never surrender.  I come from Michigan, home to hundreds of
thousands of Arab Americans and American Muslims.  Already, leaders in
the community there -- patriotic Americans who every day give so much
to this country, who have condemned these attacks, and who are as
sickened by the carnage as everyone else -- have been getting death
threats.  Such hateful prejudice offends us all.  Even as we struggle
to clear away the rubble and charred wreckage, heal our wounds, mourn
our dead and seek ultimate justice, Americans must also stand together
against this bigotry."
     --Congressman David Bonior (D-MI)
"We are a nation of law, and while our response must be decisive, it
also must be focused.  The civil liberties of all within our borders
are paramount, regardless of who is responsible for these acts of
terror.  If we undermine individual rights in reaction to today's
events, we may win a battle, but hand a victory to the enemies of
freedom everywhere."
     --Congressman Chris Cannon (R-UT)
"We must take the necessary precautions to safeguard our lives and
American interests, but we must not relinquish our cherished freedoms."
     --Congresswoman Eva Clayton (D-NC)
"Just as this horrendous act can destroy us from without, it can also
destroy us from within.  Pearl Harbor led to internment camps of
Japanese-Americans, and today there is a very real danger that this
tragedy could result in prejudice, discrimination, and crimes of hate
against Arab-Americans and others.  The lesson Oklahoma City taught us
was the perpetrators of these acts of terror can be evil men of every
race, nationality and religion as are the victims.  We must ensure that
these acts of terror do not slowly and subversively destroy the
foundation of our democracy: a commitment to equal rights and equal
     --Congressman John Conyers (D-MI)
"Frisking everyone on the planet to find the one person with the
weapon is a high-cost, low-yield way to go.  That's a fair analogy to
searching through everyone's e-mail.  Not only do such schemes
threaten civil liberties, they are such scattershot approaches that
they're bound to fail. ...  The notion that we can reorganize every
aspect of civil society to protect against terrorism is fool's gold."
     --Congressman Christopher Cox (R-CA)
"In striking at us, the terrorists sought to exploit the openness of
our society, and to shake the foundations of the civilized order which
America sustains.  They will fail.  Our challenge now -- and the test
of our democracy -- is to harness our own raw anger and passion.  To
respond in a manner that is firm, clear and just; that befits a great
nation; and that honors our own ideals."
     --Congressman William Delahunt (D-MA)
"We must not direct our anger against innocent citizens of Middle
Eastern or South Asian heritage.  Our nation is a beacon of justice in
the world and the freedom of our peoples must not be degraded by any
heinous acts of violence.  As a nation of a free and proud people, we
must not allow any terrorist attacks to justify violence or
persecution of our fellow citizens, whatever their heritage may be."
     --Congressman Benjamin Gilman (R-NY)
"We must be bipartisan, balanced, and calm.  Panic and partisanship
are our enemies.  And as one colleague said this morning, the
Constitution of the United States must not be our next casualty.  We
must ... respect the civil liberties and intelligence of Americans.
We are a generous, courageous and resilient Nation.  Given
information, resources and leadership, the American people will rise
to any challenge and fight down any assault to take from us our way of
     --Congresswoman Jane Harman (D-CA)
Even at this painful time, we must remember that international
terrorism cannot be combated by turning our free society into an
armed fortress.
     --Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ)
"As we move forward in the days to come, we must carefully use words
such as 'safety' and 'order,' and we must be cautious when calling for
actions that 'need to be taken for the good of the people.'  I
encourage my colleagues to be wary of any suggested government action
that would infringe on our freedoms.  Any encroachment of our civil
liberties is a victory for the perpetrators of yesterday's heinous
crimes.  We must continually bear in mind the words of Benjamin
Franklin when he had stated that 'those who would sacrifice their
essential liberty to seek a small portion of temporary safety deserve
neither liberty nor safety.'  Freedom is not our greatest liability,
it is our greatest asset."
     --Congressman Timothy Johnson (R-IL)
"We take enormous pride in the freedoms we enjoy.  Societies without
freedom find it easier to ward off attacks.  Yesterday we paid a great
price for our freedom.  We can and will act to reduce the chances of
these attacks in the future, but we will never give up our freedoms."
     --Congressman John J. LaFalce (D-NY)
"We will show our resolve to our enemies.  America and its citizens
will not abdicate the values and freedoms that have made this nation
great.  We unequivocally declare that today America remains steadfast
in its commitment to ensuring that terrorism will not dim the beacon
of liberty and freedom."
     --Congressman John Linder (R-GA)
"The terrorist forces against us would see us brought to our knees and
see us shaking in terror.  They would have us back away from the
freedoms we hold dear.  But they must be made to understand that those
freedoms are the result of 200 years of struggle.  Nothing within the
terrorists' power can daunt this great democracy and its resolve."
     --Congressman Ken Lucas (D-KY)
"The leaders of our country will now focus on ensuring that justice is
served.  We should be rational about our strategy, we will focus on
protecting our future and promise to uphold your freedom and your
every liberty."
     --Congressman Jim Matheson (D-UT)
"We must not act in haste -- rush to act out our vengeance against
fellow Americans -- because America is the world's greatest melting
pot, and in today's society, we simply cannot guess at an individual's
country of natural origin by their appearance.  We have to make sure
that we make war on terrorism -- not on Arabs!  We must make a further
distinction between the war on terrorism and the war on Americans of
Near or South Asian descent.  There have been many references to a
second Pearl Harbor, and while the shock and anger certainly are
similar and warranted, that anger should not be directed towards our
neighbors in ethnic communities across the country.  We do not need
the attitudes that will lead to a second wave of internment camps."
     --Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA)
"America must also stand firm, though, in its commitment to civil
liberties for all of our people.  In the coming months and years, all
of us will have to make accommodations to heightened security at our
airports, Federal buildings, and other large landmarks.  We can and
must make those accommodations and in a manner that is wholly
consistent with the U.S. Constitution."
     --Congressman James Moran (D-VA)
"[A]ll New Yorkers understand and feel empathy for those who lost loved
ones on hijacked flights.  New Yorkers, and indeed all Americans, will
remember those victims at the Pentagon, for putting their lives at
risk and paying the ultimate price, so that we can live our lives in
freedom.  In the end, that is what this comes down to --  our freedom.
To the majority of the world, our nation stands as a beacon of hope.
To those who want to crush freedom, to have people live in fear, our
nation stands as a rebuke as well as a threat.  However, what those
enemies of freedom fail to understand is that no amount of physical
damage can kill the ideals for which this nation stands.  Just as
Pearl Harbor roused the sleeping giant to crush those who attacked it,
this nation must crush those who have declared war on us now. [...]
Today, we stand united, to mourn our losses, but determined to show
the resolve upon which nation has always prided itself, as we rebuild.
We will show the strength that can only be found in a free people.  In
the words of Lincoln, today, "we here highly resolve that these dead
shall not have died in vain, that this nation under God shall have a
new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the
people, for the people shall not perish from the earth."
     --Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY)
"Demanding domestic security in times of war invites carelessness in
preserving civil liberties and the right of privacy.  Frequently the
people are only too anxious for their freedoms to be sacrificed on the
altar of authoritarianism thought to be necessary to remain safe and
secure.  Nothing would please the terrorists more than if we willingly
gave up some of our cherished liberties while defending ourselves from
their threat."
     --Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX)
"[W]e must not let these attacks on our country weaken our resolve to
maintain a free and open society that all countries can emulate.  We
must now show the world that our country will continue to stand strong
in the face of tragedy.  We must show the cowards responsible that
they will not win."
     --Congressman David Phelps (D-IL)
"It has been said that America will never be the same again -- that we
have crossed a threshold of innocence.  That may be so, but in our
zeal to provide a new level of security, we must guard against going
so far that we trade away the rights and privileges of a free society.
In reacting to this incident, we must not allow the hate of our
attackers to destroy our own decency and commitment to justice."
     --Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY)
"Additionally, as we consider legislation to address this crisis, each
proposal must be passed before the great lens of the Constitution, the
cornerstone of our Republic and our freedoms."
     -Congresswoman Lynn Rivers (D-MI)
"As we console the families of the victims, as we remind ourselves
about the core American values of freedom and democracy, and as we
make plans to deal with the terrorists, we must remember who we are as
a people.  We are the participants of a great democratic undertaking,
a national project which stands as an example for the rest of the
world.  We have a duty to perfect and protect our Nation, and we must
never be swayed from the road towards freedom and democracy for
ourselves and as a beacon for the planet."
     --Congressman Ron Underwood (D-Guam)
"Finally, in the process of combating international terrorism, we must
neither abandon American civil liberties nor express our fears and
anger by indiscriminately striking out against those with different
names, skin color or religion."
     -Congressman David Wu (D-OR)
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   ---------------------- END EPIC Alert 8.17 -----------------------