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COLUMN: Must protect our rights

| December 1, 2010 9:00 PM

Sholeh Patrick's column last Tuesday made a lot of sense. The president should not have the right to execute citizens without due process. People have said we must give up some freedoms to protect ourselves. But to give up the right to life given us in the Declaration of Independence is to give up the American set of ideals. Even if it cost 10 or even 50 aircraft, it would still be preferable to losing our national soul.

The fact is that since the Bush administration, the Bill of Rights has come under attack. The Fourth Amendment clearly protects us from TSA goons giving intimate body searches. It's gone; no longer do searches require probable cause or a judicial order.

If you would like to see where other rights have been abrogated, look at the Patriot Act, the Protect America Act, the Military Tribunal Act and the FISA revisions. Of all the Bill of Rights, it can be argued that only the Second stands safe - and that through constant vigilance.

I love this country and the political structure set up to guard our freedoms. I will use whatever talents I have to protect it. If we allow terrorists to destroy the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence we allow them to destroy the nation we formed.

This country is at greater risk than any time in the last 135 years, even greater than we stood from Hitler and Tojo. When we start dismantling from within the rights and protections of the United States, we allow our foes free and full power to destroy who we are.

This must not happen.

JEFFREY E. BOURGET

Coeur d'Alene

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