Barr Urges Conservatives to Fight for Freedom at Home

Conservative Political Action Committee Conference

Saturday, February 19, 2005

"In a hard-hitting speech to thousands of conservatives gathered in Washington, D C at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference sponsored by the American Conservative Union, former Congressman Bob Barr (R-GA) called on conservatives to reject party label and fight for "freedom here at home" not only in "foreign lands." Barr urged conservatives to remember the words of former President Ronald Reagan in his famous, 1964 speech in which he said Americans faced a "rendezvous with destiny" in fighting for freedom.

"Barr said that "we have heard much lately about fighting for freedom in foreign lands," but that conservatives especially needed to shift the focus from other countries, to ensuring freedom here at home. Of particular concern to Barr, is the USA Patriot Act, which Barr has long maintained, needs to be limited to investigations involving true acts of terrorism, not run-of-the-mill criminal cases. Barr also reiterated the need to fight against the explosion of surveillance cameras and massive databases containing information on law-abiding citizens, both of which have thrived under Republican as well as Democrat administrations.

"The former Congressman warned his audience that 2005 would be a critical year in the fight to preserve freedom in America, what with the various provisions in the Patriot Act coming up for sun-setting, and many in the Bush Administration calling for even more expansive powers for the federal government than it was granted under the 2001 Patriot Act. Barr said that the "Fight for Freedom in America is entering the Fourth Quarter."

Barr served in the US House of Representatives from 1995 to 2003, and now practices law in Georgia, and consults with both the American Conservative Union and the ACLU on privacy and other civil liberties matters.