Bob Barr on Homeland Security

Libertarian nominee for President; Former Republican Representative (GA-7)


Bush deceived Congress about use of Patriot Act

Barr said he started to move away from the Republican Party after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. That’s because the party permitted President Bush to dramatically increase the power of the president, particularly the approval of the Patriot Act, he said.

Barr supported the act, but said the Bush administration “deceived me that it would be used to investigate terrorism and it would not be expanded and abused, which it has been.”

Source: 2008 Third Party debate, reported in The Valley Vindicator , Oct 19, 2008

Supports both pre-emptive and responsive war

On some issues, Barr walks a line between the two parties. “I’m not an isolationist,” he said. “I believe that if there is a fundamental responsibility of our government, it’s to protect our nation.”

He said he supports both pre-emptive and responsive war to fight threats to national security, although he’s upset about the Iraq war and believes the U.S. needs to start pulling troops out.

Source: 2008 Third Party debate, in Lorain County Chronicle-Telegram , Oct 19, 2008

Restore habeas corpus and protect citizens from government

The nation’s founders drafted the Constitution to sharply limit the federal government’s powers. Unfortunately, in recent years government at all levels has shown growing disrespect for the Constitution, particularly the Fourth Amendment that protects citizens from unlawful searches and seizures. The sustained government attack on the sanctity of the rights of the individual, including their right to be secure in their privacy and property, has created a moral and Constitutional crisis. America’s elected officials at all levels must renew their respect for the law and work to protect the rights of individuals.

The place to start is restoring the writ of Habeas Corpus, which protects against unlawful detention, and thus stands at the core of individual liberty. Article 1 of the Constitution provides that this right shall not be suspended without clear and necessary cause, such as during an invasion. The Military Commissions Act of 2006 effectively ended this protection within America

Source: 2008 House campaign website, www.bobbarr2008.com, “Issues” , Apr 22, 2008

Restore military to defense; commit to non-intervention

For far too long and at the cost of American blood and treasure, our great military has been too willingly and quickly used for purposes other than national defense. Our fighting men and women deserve better and the integrity of our nation must be restored.

Our National Defense policy must renew a commitment to non-intervention. We are not the world’s police force and our long, yet recently tarnished, tradition of respecting the sovereignty of other nations is necessary, not from only a moral standpoint, but to regain the respect of the world as a principled and peaceful nation.

The proper use of force is clear. If attacked, the aggressor will experience firsthand the skillful wrath of the American fighting man. However, invading or initiating force against another nation based upon perceived threats and speculative intelligence is simply un-American. We are better than the policy of pre-emptive warfare.

Source: 2008 House campaign website, www.bobbarr2008.com, “Issues” , Apr 22, 2008

Real ID Act is Big Government at its worst

Time and again since Sept. 11, 2001, our political leaders have promised us that in fighting against our enemies, we must not allow our own cherished freedoms and liberty to be compromised.

The Real ID Act presents serious financial and privacy concern to the states; concerns that have not been addressed by our federal benefactors. The law details requirements for drivers’ licenses if they are to be accepted for air travel or any other purpose regulated or controlled in any way by a federal agency.

In fact, a growing number of states--worried by the program’s burgeoning costs (estimated at up to $17 billion) and the specter of subjecting huge quantities of private information about citizens to access by the federal government--have passed legislation opting out of the program or have set conditions for their participation.

Unless this situation changes, it will provide yet another clear example of how both major political parties remain firmly under control of Big Government advocates.

Source: 2008 Presidential website, bobbarr2008.com, “Real ID” , Jan 22, 2008

Real ID Act is Big Government at its worst

In fact, a growing number of states--worried by the program’s burgeoning costs (estimated at up to $17 billion) and the specter of subjecting huge quantities of private information about citizens to access by the federal government--have passed legislation opting out of the program or have set conditions for their participation.

Unless this situation changes, it will provide yet another clear example of how both major political parties remain firmly under control of Big Government advocates.

Source: 2008 Presidential website, bobbarr2008.com, “Real ID” , Jan 22, 2008

Should have impeached Clinton for national security failings

Preface to 9/11: Clinton and National Security:
When it comes to the Clinton presidency, one issue stands head and shoulders above the rest in terms of the damage his actions did to the nation he swore to protect. That issue is national security, and it remains the foremost reason Bill Clinton should have been impeached and removed.
Source: The Meaning of IS, by Bob Barr, Chapter One , Jul 2, 2004

Loud Congressional critic of government’s abuses of power

In his eight years in Congress (he failed to win re-election in 2002), Barr was one of Washington’s loudest critics of the federal government’s abuses of power, taking the lead in investigating the raid on Waco and in opposing Bill Clinton’s efforts to undermine due process in terrorism cases. Since leaving Congress, Barr has taken an advisory post with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and started writing a column for Atlanta’s alternative weekly Creative Loafing--neither ordinarily a haven for Republicans. While many on the right have fallen behind the Bush administration even as it betrays their purported principles, Barr represents another set of conservatives’ growing discomfort with the administration’s erosion of individual liberty.
Source: Jesse Walker, in Reason Magazine, “right wing of the ACLU” , Dec 1, 2003

Regrets voting for the USA PATRIOT Act

Q: You complained that “the attorney general spends his time and prestige traveling the heartland to sow fear and to endeavor to limit public discourse over the most basic of our freedoms.” When the Senate confirmed Attorney General John Ashcroft, did yo ever expect to be describing him like that?

A: No. This has been something that I never would have anticipated two and a half years ago.

Q: Do you regret voting for the USA PATRIOT Act?

A: I do. I was hoping at the time that it would not be used as a floor but as a ceiling. But it’s been a taking-off point for expanded authority in a number of areas. Perhaps most important is the fact that the administration seems to be pushing its application as broadly as it can in nonterrorism cases. And despite the assurances by the administration that Section 215, which relates to obtaining records from libraries and other repositories, is not being used, the fact is it is being used.

Source: Jesse Walker, in Reason Magazine, “right wing of the ACLU” , Dec 1, 2003

Matrix system and TIA are privacy-invasive programs

The USA PATRIOT Act has become much more problematic because it’s part of a growing list of privacy-invasive government programs, such as TIA [Terrorism Information Awareness]. They changed the name [from Total Information Awareness] and John Poindexter has left the Defense Department, but I’ve seen nothing that indicates to me proof that TIA is absolutely dead with a stake driven through its heart and burned and its head cut off, which is how Steve Forbes used to describe what we needed to do with the IRS. So my presumption is that it in some form or fashion is continuing.

We have now the emergence of the CAPPS II system--the airline passenger profiling system. We have, apparently, a number of state efforts that are being funded by the federal government, such as the one that just came to light called the Matrix system, down in Florida, where the feds are providing grant monies to state agencies to set up programs similar to TIA.

Source: Jesse Walker, in Reason Magazine, “right wing of the ACLU” , Dec 1, 2003

Military tribunals ok, if monitored & defined

Q: You started out sympathetic to civil libertarian concerns about trying terrorists before military tribunals, but ended up endorsing the idea. What changed your mind?

A: The administration, in that instance, seemed to listen to a number of the criticisms that we made. It made some fairly substantial changes to the way they were going to carry out the tribunals. There are two concerns that I continue to have. One is that the administration can change its mind at any time. You’ve got to monitor it and make sure nobody backslides. The second is that I don’t think we’ve seen a consistent standard exercised by the administration in deciding when to use military tribunals. That’s bothersome. If you use it in an appropriate setting--a military setting, in the context of an active conflict--and you have an enemy combatant, a military tribunal with its accelerated procedures lends itself to a wartime scenario. But the government really needs to have an articulated, consistent standard.

Source: Jesse Walker, in Reason Magazine, “right wing of the ACLU” , Dec 1, 2003

Voted YES on $266 billion Defense Appropriations bill.

Vote to pass a bill appropriating $266 billion in defense spending for FY 2000. Among other provisions the bill would allot $1.2 billion for research and development for next-generation tactical aircraft, yet would not include $1.8 billion in procurement funds for the new F-22 Raptor combat aircraft. The bill would also fund a 4.8 percent pay increase for military personnel. The bill would also allot $93.7 billion for operations and maintenance to be used to maintain military properties and spare parts that have been reduced due to overseas military combat missions.
Reference: Bill introduced by Lewis, R-CA; Bill HR 2561 ; vote number 1999-334 on Jul 22, 1999

Voted YES on deploying SDI.

Vote to declare it to be the policy of the United States to deploy a national missile defense.
Reference: Bill introduced by Weldon, R-PA; Bill HR 4 ; vote number 1999-4 on Mar 18, 1999

Sponsored bill allowing assassination of terrorist leaders.

Barr sponsored allowing assassination of terrorist leaders

OnTheIssues.org explanation: The US Army and the CIA are currently prohibited by law from assassinating enemies, including terrorist leaders. These prohibitions were put into place after the Kennedy assassination, and after the CIA attempted to assassinate Fidel Castro, so that enemy countries would have no incentive to assassinate American leaders. This bill undoes those prohibitions. Pres. Bill Clinton claimed during his presidency, he interpreted this law to NOT apply to terrorist leaders, since "assassination" only applies to government officials. Hence Pres. Clinton DID attempt to assassinate Osama bin Laden, by cruise missile attack. Under that interpretation (which is not universally accepted) this bill would clarify that Pres. Clinton's actions were and are legal, and hence Pres. Bush may take the same action.


Source: Terrorist Elimination Act (H.R.19) 01-HR0019 on Jan 3, 2001

No US troops under UN command; more defense spending.

Barr signed the Contract with America:

[As part of the Contract with America, within 100 days we pledge to bring to the House Floor the following bill]:

The National Security Restoration Act:
No US troops under UN command, and restoration of the essential parts of our national security funding to strengthen our national defense and maintain our credibility around the world.
Source: Contract with America 93-CWA8 on Sep 27, 1994

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Homeland Security: Bob Barr on other issues:
GA Gubernatorial:
Andrew Hunt
Jason Carter
Nathan Deal
GA Senatorial:
Amanda Swafford
David Perdue
Jack Kingston
Karen Handel
Michelle Nunn
Paul Broun
Phil Gingrey

Newly-elected Democrats taking office Jan.2015:
AZ-7: Rep.-Elect Ruben Gallego
CA-11:Rep.-Elect Mark DeSaulnier
CA-31:Rep.-Elect Pete Aguilar(R⇒D)
CA-33:Rep.-Elect Ted Lieu
CA-35:Rep.-Elect Norma Torres
FL-2: Rep.-Elect Gwen Graham(R⇒D)
HI-1: Rep.-Elect Mark Takai
MA-6: Rep.-Elect Seth Moulton
MI-12:Rep.-Elect Debbie Dingell
MI-14:Rep.-Elect Brenda Lawrence
NE-2: Rep.-Elect Brad Ashford(R⇒D)
NJ-12:Rep.-Elect Bonnie Coleman
NY-4: Rep.-Elect Kathleen Rice
PA-13:Rep.-Elect Brendan Boyle
VA-8: Rep.-Elect Donald Beyer
Seated in special elections 2013-2014:
AL-1: Bradley Byrne(R)
FL-13:David Jolly(R)
FL-19:Curt Clawson(R)
IL-2: Robin Kelly(D)
LA-5: Vance McAllister(R)
MA-5: Katherine Clark(D)
MO-8: Jason Smith(R)
NC-12:Alma Adams(D)
NJ-1: Donald Norcross(D)
SC-1: Mark Sanford(R)
VA-7: Dave Brat(R)

Newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
AR-2: Rep.-Elect French Hill
AR-4: Rep.-Elect Bruce Westerman
AL-6: Rep.-Elect Gary Palmer
CA-25:Rep.-Elect Steve Knight
CA-45:Rep.-Elect Mimi Walters
CO-4: Rep.-Elect Ken Buck
FL-26:Rep.-Elect Carlos Curbelo(D⇒R)
GA-1: Rep.-Elect Buddy Carter
GA-10:Rep.-Elect Jody Hice
GA-11:Rep.-Elect Barry Loudermilk
GA-12:Rep.-Elect Rick Allen(D⇒R)
IA-1: Rep.-Elect Rod Blum(D⇒R)
IA-3: Rep.-Elect David Young
IL-10:Rep.-Elect Robert Dold(D⇒R)
IL-12:Rep.-Elect Mike Bost(D⇒R)
More newly-elected Republicans taking office Jan.2015:
LA-5: Rep.-Elect Ralph Abraham
LA-6: Rep.-Elect Garret Graves
ME-2: Rep.-Elect Bruce Poliquin(D⇒R)
MI-4: Rep.-Elect John Moolenaar
MI-8: Rep.-Elect Mike Bishop
MI-11:Rep.-Elect Dave Trott
MN-6: Rep.-Elect Tom Emmer
MT-0: Rep.-Elect Ryan Zinke
NC-6: Rep.-Elect Mark Walker
NC-7: Rep.-Elect David Rouzer(D⇒R)
NH-1: Rep.-Elect Frank Guinta(D⇒R)
NJ-3: Rep.-Elect Tom MacArthur
NV-4: Rep.-Elect Cresent Hardy(D⇒R)
NY-1: Rep.-Elect Lee Zeldin(D⇒R)
NY-21:Rep.-Elect Elise Stefanik(D⇒R)
NY-24:Rep.-Elect John Katko
OK-5: Rep.-Elect Steve Russell
PA-6: Rep.-Elect Ryan Costello
TX-4: Rep.-Elect John Ratcliffe
TX-23:Rep.-Elect Will Hurd
TX-36:Rep.-Elect Brian Babin
UT-4: Rep.-Elect Mia Love(D⇒R)
VA-10:Rep.-Elect Barbara Comstock
WA-4: Rep.-Elect Dan Newhouse
WI-6: Rep.-Elect Glenn Grothman
WV-2: Rep.-Elect Alex Mooney
WV-3: Rep.-Elect Evan Jenkins(D⇒R)
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Page last updated: Feb 06, 2016