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Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and Congressman Ron Paul debate the Patriot Act and its implications for America.
Do we repeal the act, as Ron Paul would prefer, or do we strengthen it to further expand the government’s anti-terrorism capabilities?
Gingrich: I think looking at it carefully and extending and building an honest understanding that all of us will be in danger for the rest of our lives. This is not going to end in the short-run and we need to be able to protect ourselves from those who, if they could, would not just kill us individually but would take out entire cities.
No, I would not change it. I’m not aware of any specific change it needs and I would look at strengthening it because the dangers are literally that great….again, very sharp division. Criminal law, the government should be, frankly, on defense and you’re innocent until proven guilty. National security – the government should have many more tools in order to save our lives.
Ron Paul: Why I really fear it is we have drifted into a condition we were warned against.
…Don’t be willing to sacrifice liberty for security. Today it seems to easy that our government and our Congresses are so willing to give up our security. I have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights.
…This is like saying we need a policeman in every house, a camera in every house…
…You can prevent crimes by becoming a police state. If you advocate the police state, yes, you can have safety and security, and you might prevent a crime, but the crime then will be against the American people and against our freedoms and we will throw out so much of what our revolution was fought for, so don’t do it so carelessly.