EXPRESSING SENSE OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES ON FIFTH ANNIVERSARY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS LAUNCHED AGAINST THE UNITED STATES ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 -- (House of Representatives - September 13, 2006)
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Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, I rise in reluctant opposition to this resolution, as I strongly feel that we need to be careful about how we commemorate the tragic events of September 11,2001. Several times over the past four years I have voted in favor of these annual 9/11 resolutions because they simply commemorated the tragic event and urged our continued vigilance in an increasingly dangerous world. I believe using the event to promote particular legislation or foreign policies, however, denigrates the memory of those who perished in that attack.
Much of the legislation referenced in this legislation is legislation that I supported. For example, I voted in favor of the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 and for the SAFE Port Act of 2006. I continue to support measures that help secure our borders and thereby make us less vulnerable to future foreign attack. However, I find it particularly unacceptable to heap praise on the PATRIOT Act, as this bill does. This act expanded the federal government's power to an unprecedented degree at the expense not of foreign terrorists, but of law-abiding American citizens. It opened average Americans up to wide-ranging government snooping and surveillance in matters completely unrelated to terrorism. For example, the ``sneak and peek'' provisions of the PATRIOT Act allow law enforcement to enter someone's home without a warrant, search that property, and never inform that citizen they had been there. Also, libraries and book stores can be forced to provide the government with citizens' borrowing and purchasing history without showing probable cause. I see no reason to applaud such an un-American piece of legislation.
Mr. Speaker, I believe we should show due respect the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Congress patting itself on the back over legislation it has passed since then strikes me as disrespectful to those who suffered and continue to suffer from the attacks on New York and the Pentagon.
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