CEI Statement On The “In Defense Of Freedom” Coalition

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, a coalition of organizations across the country was formed in an effort to call attention to the need to move cautiously on proposals that could affect our civil liberties.  CEI joined these other groups in signing an “In Defense of Freedom” statement, which consists of ten points listed below.

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1.       On September 11, 2001 thousands of people lost their lives in a brutal assault on the American people and the American form of government. We mourn the loss of these innocent lives and insist that those who perpetrated these acts be held accountable.

2.       This tragedy requires all Americans to examine carefully the steps our country may now take to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks.

3.       We need to consider proposals calmly and deliberately with a determination not to erode the liberties and freedoms that are at the core of the American way of life.

4.       We need to ensure that actions by our government uphold the principles of a democratic society, accountable government and international law, and that all decisions are taken in a manner consistent with the Constitution.

5.       We can, as we have in the past, in times of war and of peace, reconcile the requirements of security with the demands of liberty.

6.       We should resist the temptation to enact proposals in the mistaken belief that anything that may be called anti-terrorist will necessarily provide greater security.

7.       We should resist efforts to target people because of their race, religion, ethnic background or appearance, including immigrants in general, Arab Americans and Muslims.

8.       We affirm the right of peaceful dissent, protected by the First Amendment, now, when it is most at risk.

9.       We should applaud our political leaders in the days ahead who have the courage to say that our freedoms should not be limited.

10.   We must have faith in our democratic system and our Constitution, and in our ability to protect at the same time both the freedom and the security of all Americans.

More than 150 organizations, 300 law professors, and 40 computer scientists have expressed support for the In Defense of Freedom statement.

The IDOF Coalition supports the ten point statement listed above. The Coalition neither supports nor opposes specific legislation or provisions of legislation. Individual organizations in the coalition, however, may have taken positions on specific legislation.