The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Nathan White (202)225-5871

Kucinich: "Freedom Isn't Free and We Shouldn't Freely Give Our Freedoms Away"

Continues Attack on PATRIOT Act


Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), today took to the House floor to continue his defense of civil liberties and his attack on the PATRIOT Act. He delivered the following remarks during debate on an extension of expiring provisions that passed the Senate yesterday:

"I believe the PATRIOT Act represents the cracked domestic crown jewel of a disastrous global war on terror which led us to attack Iraq based on lies, invade Afghanistan based on a misreading of history, indulge in occupations which have fueled insurgencies, extend war to Pakistan and other countries, demonstrating a total lack of common sense.

"The PATRIOT Act issues from a pestiferous soil laced with lies and distortions. We created a national security state which threatens our Constitution and weakens our basic liberties. This is not about whether you are a Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, but whether we can actually realize that we have been sold a bill of goods, lies about WMD's, questions about the nature of an anthrax attack, which caused us all too willingly to limit our civil liberties.

"I joined other Members of Congress in approving the United States launching attacks on training camps after 9/11 because we have a right to respond and defend ourselves. We also have an obligation to defend the Constitution. We have an obligation to defend the truth. Freedom isn't free and we shouldn't freely give our freedoms away.

"When Francis Scott Key wrote the "Star Spangled Banner," we remember these words, 'Oh, say, does that star spangle banner yet wave over the land of the free and brave.' He connected freedom and democracy. We have to be courageous to stand up for this Constitution. I believe my colleagues on the Republican side are courageous Americans, good Americans, but I want to say we have to look at the context in which the PATRIOT Act was passed and from that context we have to challenge the PATRIOT Act."

Dennis Kucinich is an American politician. A U.S. Representative from Ohio from 1997 to 2013, he was also a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States in 2004 and 2008.