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A Victory for Freedom

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Kudos to President Bush and Attorney General Ashcroft for ultimately deciding to comply with the Constitution in the U.S. government’s prosecution of suspected terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, who is accused of having participated in the September 11 attacks. Bush and Ashcroft had threatened to try Moussaoui before a secret military tribunal whose Star Chamber and Cuban procedures would have violated the most elementary principles of due process of law. Eighty percent of the American people initially favored the idea (which reflects the wisdom of the Founding Fathers in their use of the Constitution to protect people from the tyranny of the majority). But as a result of fierce and eloquent arguments from defenders of civil liberties and the Constitution, the poll numbers soon dropped to 50 percent. Leaving the supporters of military tribunals high, dry, and silent, Bush and Ashcroft quietly decided to comply with the Constitution by permitting a NY federal grand jury to indict Moussaoui. Every American is better off and more secure because of their decision, and every American should take great pride that he lives in a country where every person, regardless of citizenship, who is accused of a crime by the federal government is guaranteed the protections of due process of law. The entire experience reflects the power of truth, ideas, and reason and shows why government officials will often do whatever they can to suppress dissent, even going so far as to make the pathetic suggestion that dissent against governmental misconduct is treasonous.

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    Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.