WASHINGTON - Libertarian Party Chair Mark Hinkle issued the following statement today:
"Yesterday, Republicans and Democrats in Congress joined hands to renew several provisions of the Patriot Act. These provisions are unconstitutional and violate our right to freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures.
"These provisions should be repealed, and if they're not repealed, they ought to be ruled unconstitutional by the courts.
"Anyone who believes that Democrats care more about civil liberties than Republicans ought to be disillusioned by this renewal. It has become painfully clear that the Obama administration is indistinguishable from the George W. Bush administration.
"The plain injustice of these search provisions is compounded by the secrecy that surrounds them. In some cases, Americans -- even members of Congress -- aren't permitted to know the legal interpretations that govern how these searches may be implemented. And of course there is the infamous 'library records' provision, which prohibits targets from telling anyone that they were ordered to turn over records to the government.
"I don't believe that these violations of our rights are making us any safer. I think it's security theater. And I'm certainly reminded of Benjamin Franklin's words, 'Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.'
"Our Constitution guarantees our rights. It doesn't make an exception for 'fear of terrorists.' It's time to end these violations of our rights, and repeal the Patriot Act.
"We can never perfectly protect ourselves from foreigners who hate us. One useful thing we can do is to try to stop antagonizing foreigners. Our government should stop invading and bombing their countries and stationing troops in them. It's time for a non-interventionist foreign policy."
For more information, or to arrange an interview, call LP Executive Director Wes Benedict at 202-333-0008 ext. 222.
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