Monday, June 26, 2006

The Future of Freedom Foundation

From "Jacob G. Hornberger" jhornberger@fff.org

The ideas and principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution brought into existence the greatest, freest, and most prosperous nation in history. It is to the restoration of those principles of liberty that The Future of Freedom Foundation is committed.

Our country is headed in a bad direction with respect to our rights and freedoms. Under the war on terrorism, the executive branch of the federal government, with the acquiescence of a submissive Congress, now wields the power:

- To send the entire nation into war without a congressional declaration of war.

- To arrest any American as a suspected terrorist and have the military incarcerate him, denying him fundamental rights that stretch back to Magna Carta, including due process of law and trial by jury. This is what the Jose Padilla case is all about.

- To monitor people's telephone conversations and email without judicially issued warrants.

- To issue secret summonses under the USA PATRIOT Act for people's personal and business records, with harsh punishment for those who disclose the issuance of such summonses.

- To detain people in jail for extended periods as "material witnesses."

- To ignore the right of habeas corpus for foreigners held at Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere.

This is not what America is supposed to be all about. It is what totalitarian countries are all about. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were supposed to prevent the exercise of these types of powers.

And things could get worse. Overseas, U.S. officials are kidnapping foreigners suspected of terrorism and sending them either into secret U.S.-run camps or into the clutches of brutal foreign regimes that engage in torture. Not only is such conduct morally reprehensible, there is no guarantee that it won't ultimately be extended to American citizens.

The Future of Freedom Foundation has never been silent on foreign policy. As long as the federal government wields omnipotent power in foreign affairs, there will be a gradual – and certain – erosion of freedom here at home. An interventionist foreign policy inevitably produces the "blowback" that is then used as the excuse for out-of-control federal spending, increased taxation, debasement of the currency, centralization of power, infringements on civil liberties, and even gun control.

For 16 years, FFF has been fighting to move our country in a better and freer direction. We have never been satisfied with simply trimming the branches of the federal leviathan. Asking such fundamental questions as "What should the role of government in a free society be?" our job is to raise people's vision to a much higher level – to a paradigm of genuine freedom rather than improved enslavement.

We never compromise the moral principles that undergird a free society and we never pull our punches.

Believing that people have the right to keep everything they earn and to decide for themselves how to dispose of it, we have always called for the repeal, not the reform, of the IRS and income tax along with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, and every other welfare-state program. The free society nurtures moral values and raises standards of living and educational excellence.

Believing that people have the fundamental right to ingest any substance they wish, we steadfastly call for an end to the war on drugs, arguably the most immoral and destructive domestic program in American history. The drug war has destroyed countless lives, both here and abroad, and has engendered much of the violence that now pervades American society.

Believing in the moral right of people to engage freely in economic activity, we have long maintained an uncompromising commitment to the free movement of goods and people. When people are free to engage in mutually beneficial transactions, such economic interdependencies not only produce natural harmonies, they also raise standards of living for those engaging in such trades.

Believing in the sanctity of private property, we have taken a firm stance against the infamous Kelo decision, where the Supreme Court authorized state and local governments to take people's homes and businesses and transfer them to private developers.

Can we change the course of our nation? Can we turn away from the socialist and interventionist direction our government has taken and toward the free-market principles that are our heritage? Absolutely! – through the power of ideas on liberty and the power of the pen! ...

Jacob G. Hornberger
President
The Future of Freedom Foundation