Civil Liberties

For those supporters of the US Patriot Act and other legislation passed under the guise of anti-terrorism legislation, I refer you the following quotes:

They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security. - Benjamin Franklin

I believe that liberty is the only genuinely valuable thing that men have invented, at least in the field of government, in a thousand years. I believe that it is better to be free than to be not free, even when the former is dangerous and the latter safe. I believe that the finest qualities of man can flourish only in free air - that progress made under the shadow of the policeman's club is false progress, and of no permanent value. I believe that any man who takes the liberty of another into his keeping is bound to become a tyrant, and that any man who yields up his liberty, in however slight the measure, is bound to become a slave. - H. L. Mencken

I have named the destroyers of nations: comfort, plenty, and security - out of which grow a bored and slothful cynicism, in which rebellion against the world as it is, and myself as I am, are submerged in listless self-satisfaction. - John Steinbeck

If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. - Samuel Adams

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peacefully to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. - First Amendment

It is during our most challenging and uncertain moments that our Nation's commitment to due process is most severely tested, and it is in those times that we must preserve our commitment at home to the principles for which we fight abroad. - Justice Sandra Day O'Connor - Hamdi vs. Rumsfeld 2004

History teaches us that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure. - Justice Thurgood Marshall - 1989

When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross. - Sinclair Lewis

If our nation is ever taken over, it will be taken over from within. - James Madison

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves - Abraham Lincoln

It is quite a special secret pleasure, how the people around us fail to realize what is really happening to them. - Adolf Hitler

When a stupid man is doing something he is shamed of, he always declares that it is in his duty. - George Bernard Shaw

Liberty means responsibility, that is why most mean dread it. - Shaw

We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home. - Thomas Jefferson

A society whose citizens refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the police state dictatorship it's going to get. - Ian Williams Goddard

Fear can only prevail when victims are ignorant of the facts. - Jefferson

The evils of government are directly proportional to the tolerance of the people. - Frank Kent

A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves. - Edward R. Murrow

If ever time should come when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin. - Samuel Adams

To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic, and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. - Theodore Roosevelt

Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear. - Harry Truman

When tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign foe. - Madison

The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home. - Madison

A state of war only serves as an excuse for domestic tyranny. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn

There is nothing more frightening than active ignorance. - Goethe

The biggest lesson I learned from Vietnam is not to trust (our own) government statements. - Sen. James W. Fulbright