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The ACLU thread

  • Joined 12/31/69
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  • Lounge > Politics
  • Posted Wednesday, July 23, 2008
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I've been a member for a long time of the ACLU. While I don't agree with everything they do, I support quite a lot of it.

Anyway, this thread is dedicated to the emails they send me asking for at least computer-based support on various issues. Feel free to discuss.


From the Desk of Caroline Fredrickson Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office Tell Congress to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan to subvert the Constitution: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=QdruUr0QubaGd-HkLfLt8A..


Dear ACLU Supporter,

Here they go again. On Monday, Bush's Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, called on Congress to take dramatic steps to subvert the Constitution.

Mukasey is demanding that Congress issue a new declaration of war that would make the entire globe -- including the United States itself --a "battlefield" where the president decides who will be locked up forever.

Instead of ending the Bush system of injustice, he wants Congress to make it permanent.

Tell Congress to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan to subvert the Constitution. Go to: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=jcrf7lXODWop7HHMO1Qcsw..

Not only has Bush's Attorney General called on Congress to issue a new declaration of war, but he is also asking Congress to:

  1. Gut habeas corpus -- the freedom that protects people from being thrown in prison illegally -- with no help, no end in sight and no due process.

  2. Cover up the Bush administration's systemic torture and abuse of detainees. Judges would not be allowed to see evidence of torture and abuse and would instead simply have to trust that a president is holding the right people as "enemy combatants."

With only five weeks left in the congressional schedule and only six months left in the Bush presidency, Mukasey's power grab should be laughed out of town. But, given this Congress' track record, the Mukasey proposal is no laughing matter.

Tell Congress to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan to subvert the Constitution: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=D8uPf529P3pyF2cS0DQ6gQ..

Too many times, we've seen Congress cave in to the most outrageous Bush demands for out-of-control powers: The Patriot Act. National Security Letters. The Military Commissions Act. The Protect America Act. And, most recently, the congressional sell-out on FISA.

Four times the Supreme Court has rejected the Bush administration's efforts to design a war on terror system of injustice that defies the Constitution and mocks the rule of law. In the past, the administration has responded, not by respecting the Constitution, but by counting on Congress to legitimize its indefensible conduct.

There is no way we can let that happen this time. Even as the House Judiciary Committee investigates whether high-level Bush White House officials may have committed crimes of torture and abuse, the Bush administration has the arrogance to ask Congress to give it the power to detain people without trial and hide torture and abuse from the courts.

Tell Congress to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan to subvert the Constitution: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=37hVyrCZ8JuIcAxdc8PmLQ..

We can't take for granted that Congress will reject the Bush/Mukasey plan. We have to meet this outrageous proposal with an immediate wall of protest that says to Congress: "Don't you dare."

I urge you to join defenders of freedom all across the country in raising your voice against Attorney General Mukasey's dangerous proposal.

Thanks for speaking out,

Caroline Fredrickson, Director ACLU Washington Legislative Office

P.S. You can read a blog post from Christopher Anders, ACLU Seinor Legislative Counsel, on the Bush/Mukasey plan to subvert the constitution here: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=JvZ8d8Lrs2ebNpzkWXJ-og..

© ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10004

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  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #1
  • Originally posted Thursday, July 24, 2008 (6 years ago)

Isolation. Ostracism. Fear. Abuse. Such is the life of many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth. The marginalization and bigotry infects homes, classrooms and workplaces.

Fortunately, some of our elected officials are working to end discrimination against LGBT youth. Unfortunately, there are others in state government who continue to fan the flames of intolerance.

We need your help in sending a clear message to Albany that our state s policies must reflect dignity and respect for all youth, regardless of their sexual orientation!

For transgender youth those who identify as a gender other than their biological sex the feelings of isolation can be overwhelming. Transgender youth experience severe discrimination, violence and even homelessness. With all of these challenges, it s not surprising that some transgender youth wind up in juvenile detention centers. Tragically, there is a documented history of abuse of LGBT youth in detention facilities.

In March, the New York State Office of Family & Children Services (OCFS) enacted a policy to address the discrimination faced by LGBT youth. The new policy requires that OCFS staff receive training on how to work with LGBT youth. It also requires the provision of reasonable accommodations by letting young people in OCFS facilities have access to clothing that corresponds with their gender identity.

OCFS implemented this policy based on the values of tolerance, respect and non-discrimination.

But when the media publicized the new policy, certain state lawmakers decided to fan the flames of intolerance and make transgender youth the target of derogatory and bigoted remarks:

Assembly Republican Minority Leader James Tedisco asked, Where will it stop? as if spreading tolerance of LGBTQ youth is a bad thing. Democratic State Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr., a reverend, actually said, We have no morals, no more traditional values, in response to the policy that seeks to protect youth from abuse. Democratic Assemblymember Michael Benjamin remarked: I understand the need for the staff to be tolerant and respectful of those who are gay or transgendered because it sends a signal to the young people there, but I draw the line at clothing.

These lawmakers should be ashamed of themselves.

LGBT youth in the juvenile detention system desperately need to be free from harassment and abuse. OCFS Commissioner Gladys Carrion is seeking to make this happen through enacting a compassionate policy. The NYCLU applauds her efforts.

We ask that you show your support by sending a fax today to Governor Paterson in favor of the LGBT policy at OCFS.

Say no to bigotry and intolerance. Make your voice heard today.

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #2
  • Originally posted Wednesday, July 30, 2008 (6 years ago)

From the Desk of Anthony D. Romero Executive Director, ACLU Ask your friends to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan to subvert the Constitution: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=iVmjdmv7hhcqWWwA-hrBQA..

Dear ACLU Supporter,

Last Wednesday, the ACLU alerted you to Attorney General Michael Mukasey's plan. He asked Congress to issue a new declaration of war. This would make the entire globe -- including the United States itself -- a "battlefield" where the president gets to decide who is an "enemy combatant" and lock that person up forever.

The Bush/Mukasey plan also includes a congressionally-approved subversion of the Constitution and a cover-up of the Bush administration's systemic torture and abuse of detainees.

Now, an ACLU lawsuit has uncovered new evidence that there was torture and abuse authorized by -- you guessed it -- the Justice Department.

That makes stopping this dangerous proposal even more urgent. In an unbelievable outpouring, you and other ACLU activists have already sent 94,317 emails to members of Congress urging them to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan.

Let's keep going until we build a wall of opposition so powerful that Congress won't even think about caving in to Bush and Mukasey's demands.

Urge your friends to stand with you and the ACLU by calling on Congress to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan.

Send an e-card to up to 10 friends at a time here: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=jyNS7mF5fIV5eYAi0AWdkQ..

Or, cut and paste the text at the bottom of this email and send it to as many people as you want.

Thanks to an ACLU lawsuit, we now have a heavily-redacted 2002 Justice Department memo authorizing the CIA to use specific interrogation methods, including waterboarding. The memo states that interrogation methods that cause severe mental pain do not amount to torture under U.S. law unless they cause "harm lasting months or even years after the acts were inflicted upon the prisoners."

This document and others released from ACLU lawsuits add to a substantial body of evidence that the Justice Department authorized the CIA to torture prisoners in its custody.

The Justice Department twisted the law -- and in some cases ignored it altogether -- in order to permit interrogators to use barbaric methods that the U.S. once prosecuted as war crimes.

Now, Mukasey -- as head of the Justice Department -- wants Congress to cover up torture committed under the watch of his predecessor, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Don't let it happen.

Urge your friends to stand with you and the ACLU in calling on Congress to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan to cover up torture and subvert the Constitution. Send an e-card here: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=7Vqib6mHXW2esyfvrbi0EA..

We've learned the hard way not to count on Congress to defend the Constitution, especially in the weeks leading up to an election.

Please urge others you know to take action right now.

Send an e-card using this link: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=enpnyGbaRpx-1V53OvMdkg..

Or, forward the message below far and wide.

Thanks for all you do in defense of freedom.

Anthony D. Romero Executive Director ACLU

P.S. Here's a message you can cut and paste and send to your friends.

Subject: No laughing matter

This sounds so outrageous, it seems like a joke or something out of "The Onion."

Attorney General Michael Mukasey is demanding that Congress issue a new declaration of war so that anyone that this president or the next one declares to be an "enemy combatant" can be held indefinitely without a trial.

The new declaration of war would make the entire globe -- including the United States itself -- a "battlefield" where the president decides who will be locked up forever.

With only four weeks left in the congressional schedule and only six months left in the Bush presidency, Mukasey's power grab should be laughed out of town. But given this Congress' track record, the Mukasey proposal is no laughing matter. Especially because it also includes a cover-up of the Bush administration's systemic torture and abuse of detainees.

We can't take for granted that Congress will reject this outrageous proposal. We have to meet it with an immediate wall of protest that says to Congress: "Don't you dare."

I told my members of Congress to reject the dangerous Bush/Mukasey plan. You can do the same thing here:

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=zanFiuqmyVvGJPqs_lwsxg..

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #3
  • Originally posted Friday, August 1, 2008 (6 years ago)

ACLU Online The e-newsletter of the American Civil Liberties Union August 1, 2008

In This Issue:

-- Mukasey's Plan: New Declaration of War; Torture Cover-up

-- ACLU at Guant namo for First Military Commission Trial This Week

-- Fusion Centers Part of Incipient Domestic Intelligence System

-- Nationwide Health Record Database Threatens Patient Privacy

In the States:

-- ACLU Challenges Alabama Voter Disenfranchisement Laws in Court

-- The ACLU Wins Groundbreaking Federal Lawsuit for FL High School Gay-Straight Alliance

Mukasey's Plan: New Declaration of War; Torture Cover-up.

On July 21st, Bush's Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, called on Congress to take dramatic steps to subvert the Constitution. Mukasey asked that Congress issue a new declaration of war that would make the entire globe -- including the United States itself -- a "battlefield" where the president decides who will be locked up forever.

The Bush/Mukasey plan also includes a congressionally-approved subversion of the Constitution and a cover-up of the Bush administration's systemic torture and abuse of detainees.

At the same time, an ACLU lawsuit has uncovered new evidence that the torture and abuse Mukasey wants Congress to cover up was authorized by -- you guessed it -- the Justice Department. One of the documents obtained by the ACLU is a redacted version of a previously undisclosed 2002 Justice Department opinion that authorizes the CIA to use specific interrogation methods, including waterboarding. The memo states that interrogation methods that cause severe mental pain do not amount to torture under U.S. law unless they cause "harm lasting months or even years after the acts were inflicted upon the prisoners."

This document and others released from ACLU lawsuits add to a substantial body of evidence that the Justice Department authorized the CIA to torture prisoners in its custody.

The Justice Department twisted the law -- and in some cases ignored it altogether -- in order to permit interrogators to use barbaric methods that the U.S. once prosecuted as war crimes.

Now, Mukasey -- as head of the Justice Department -- wants Congress to cover up torture committed under the watch of his predecessor, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

It is so outrageous that it seems like a joke or something out of "The Onion." Even The Colbert Report on Comedy Central lampooned the administration's attempts to cover up torture. Unfortunately, this latest power grab by the Bush administration is no laughing matter.

Don't let Mukasey cover up torture and subvert the Constitution.

>> Watch Colbert's reaction to the recent release of new torture documents. Then, share with your friends. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=gKLztUsDsAr3UQhlqrG4zQ..

>>Take Action: Tell Congress to reject the Bush/Mukasey plan to subvert the Constitution. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=KnG70OKI5w5niVeWpxVnZA..

ACLU At Guant namo for First Military Commission Trial This Week

With the military commission trial of Yemeni national Salim Ahmed Hamdan underway this week, the inherent flaws of the Military Commissions system continue to be apparent. The ACLU has been at Guant namo Bay observing the proceedings which began on Monday. The Hamdan trial is the first military commission trial to take place since the Bush administration set up the notorious detention camp as a way to bypass the U.S. justice system.

"As the first trial in the administration's military commissions, the Hamdan case will test the limits of a deeply flawed and unconstitutional system," said Ben Wizner, a staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project who is observing the trial. "At every step of the way it has become painfully clear that these ad hoc tribunals are no substitute for American civilian and military courts where the Constitution still means something. Let's end this farce and make a fresh start in a system that reflects our nation's core values."

As further proof that the commission system is fundamentally flawed, the military judge in Hamdan's case already had to remove some evidence obtained through "highly coercive environments and conditions" but did not categorically disallow all evidence derived by torture. Contrary to the rules of the American justice system, the Guant namo military commissions also permit secret and hearsay evidence.

In 2006's Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Hamdan won a landmark Supreme Court victory that struck down the Bush administration's original commissions as unconstitutional and inconsistent with the Geneva Conventions. However, Congress later passed and President Bush signed into law the Military Commissions Act of 2006 authorizing a modified system of military tribunals that grants the government the authority to prosecute detainees without many of the constitutional protections required by U.S. civilian courts and traditional military courts governed by the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

Following last month's Supreme Court decision ruling that the Constitution and habeas corpus apply at Guant namo, news outlets have reported that the Bush administration is engaging in detailed planning for the closure of the detention camp. As the premise for the existence of the Guant namo prison camp and the military commission system continues to crumble, the Bush administration is to rushing through proceedings of high profile detainees before the November election. The ACLU renews its call for the prison and the military commissions there to be shut down once and for all.

>> Read ACLU Attorney Ben Wizner's Blog post on the Hamdan hearing. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=tHTK6u8XCopIU62keBOtEw..

>> Take Action: Tell America's leaders to shut down Guant namo Bay and end the military commission system of injustice by adding your name to the petition. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=qLU15VO33F-HGK_CeBXuew..

Fusion Centers Part of Incipient Domestic Intelligence System

The nation's growing network of "fusion centers" is part of an incipient domestic intelligence system, according to the ACLU. The ACLU released a report detailing spying on Maryland peace demonstrators, a mysterious domestic-spying scandal at a California military base and other recent incidents, confirming that its warnings about fusion centers were coming true.

In November 2007, the ACLU released a report, "What's Wrong With Fusion Centers," warning about the potential dangers of these new institutions, including ambiguous lines of authority, excessive secrecy, troubling private-sector and military roles, and an apparent bend toward collection of information about innocent activities and data mining. Our recent addendum to the report explains how new developments have only confirmed the urgency of these warnings.

"Congress and state officials need to learn more about fusion centers, engage in some very pointed inquiry about the effectiveness and the precise role of these centers, and at a minimum put in place strong checks and balances," said Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "Too often, we've given our government new powers to fight terrorists, only to have them used against peace activists and other innocent Americans. This can't be the future of law enforcement. Congress needs to end private-sector participation and military involvement in law enforcement. We need to learn from our mistakes, not repeat them."

>> Read the report. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=E4kidO-kPwiCd3O7lBvufQ..

Nationwide Health Record Database Threatens Patient Privacy

Have you ever worried about discussing personal or embarrassing medical symptoms with your doctor for fear that your medical record might fall into the wrong hands?

When Congress returns in September, they will continue to review legislation that would convert our health records from paper to electronic data. But if this is not done the right way, your most personal health information is at risk of being lost or stolen and even becoming a commodity that businesses can sell or trade.

Having a nationally connected electronic network for storing and sharing Americans' medical information promises to reduce medical error and improve patient care both in emergencies and chronic situations. But medical privacy should not become a casualty of the race to set up databases of electronic health records.

Patients need to have control over their personal information and be able to sue if their rights are violated. Patients must be able to review their own files, correct bad data, and block access without consent to personal information.

If Congress fails to require strong privacy and security standards now -- during the early stages of development of these online patient records systems -- it will be extremely difficult to reverse the damage later.

>> Take Action: Tell Congress your health data is not for sale! http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=EJkSgZcNCkXQqOSyuFeXMw..

ACLU Challenges Alabama Voter Disenfranchisement Laws in Court

The ACLU and ACLU of Alabama have filed a lawsuit challenging the state's voter disenfranchisement laws and practices as unconstitutional. According to its state constitution, Alabama may deny voting rights to individuals who have been convicted of felonies involving "moral turpitude." Although this term is not defined, the constitution clearly states that only the legislature can decide which felonies qualify under this category. In its lawsuit, the ACLU charges that the state is disenfranchising thousands of Alabamians under a much broader category of convictions than is permissible under the constitution and relying on an unlawful opinion issued by Alabama's attorney general.

The Alabama legislature adopted a list of about 15 serious felonies that fit the moral turpitude definition for disenfranchisement. But in 2005, Attorney General Troy King developed his own broader list of disenfranchising felonies. In addition, election administrators across the state are currently disqualifying citizens from voting for felony convictions that neither the legislature nor the attorney general has ever listed as disenfranchising offenses. The ACLU seeks to block state election administrators from disqualifying any voter who has a felony conviction not on the moral turpitude list developed by the legislature.

"Alabama's disenfranchisement laws do not pass constitutional muster. It is immoral that election officials are wrongly disenfranchising thousands of eligible voters through a subjective interpretation of the law that ignores the state constitution and the legislature's will," said Laughlin McDonald, Director of the ACLU Voting Rights Project.

Alabama law allows a person convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude to apply for voting rights restoration from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, but the applicant must have paid all fines, court costs, fees and restitution associated with his or her sentence before becoming eligible to vote again. Denying the right to vote based on one's failure or inability to pay these fees discriminates on the basis of wealth. The ACLU also asks the court to strike down the voter restoration process's discriminatory fee provision.

>> Read more about this case and the Voting Rights Project. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=jrklMduCr0lM9cWcTPnz-g..

The ACLU Wins Groundbreaking Federal Lawsuit for FL High School Gay-Straight Alliance

The ACLU prevailed in Okeechobee, FL on both Equal Access Act and First Amendment grounds when a Florida federal court ruled that school officials must allow a gay-straight alliance (GSA) club to meet on campus.

In a first-of-its-kind ruling, Judge K. Michael Moore held that schools must provide for the well-being of gay students to the same extent as straight students, and therefore, the school may not discriminate against the GSA. In the order, the court grants students in the GSA "all the rights and privileges granted to other noncurricular groups." The victory is the second federal student rights case won by the ACLU of Florida and the national ACLU this summer.

The ACLU filed the federal lawsuit in November 2006 after students at Okeechobee High School were denied access to meet on campus by their principal, Toni Wiersma. Then-senior Yasmin Gonzalez approached the ACLU for help, and after several failed attempts by the ACLU to convince the school to comply with the Federal Equal Access Act, the lawsuit was filed. The ACLU won a preliminary injunction in 2007 allowing students to meet on campus after repeated failed attempts by the defendants to characterize the club as "sex-based."

In this decision, Moore noted "that the GSA's tolerance-based message would not materially or substantially interfere with discipline in the operation of the school. In order for [the school board] to justify its refusals to recognize the GSA as a student organization, 'it must be able to show that its action was caused by something more than a mere desire to avoid the discomfort and unpleasantness that always accompany an unpopular viewpoint.' This is precisely what [the school board] has failed to do."

>> Read more about the case. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=ZfRiulqsGMO2Unw3A2WgdQ..

American Civil Liberties Union 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, New York 10004-2400 Geraldine Engel and Lisa Sock, Editors

Privacy Statement This mail is never sent unsolicited. You, or someone on your behalf, has subscribed to receive this information from the American Civil Liberties Union. At the ACLU Web site, the ACLU gathers anonymous summary statistics on the responses to our email newsletters in order to better serve list subscribes and ACLU members. To review our Privacy Statement, click here. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=ZcyD-w5HiSzPpVKXXkfS_w..

Click here to forward this message: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=AfzRWHdgGs3ux-TSzqmkJQ..

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #4
  • Originally posted Friday, August 15, 2008 (6 years ago)

Congress Must Repeal the Real ID Act

Dear XYZ,

Months ago we asked you to take action to encourage New York s Governor and State Legislature to keep New York from implementing the Real ID Act.

And you did. You sent more than 4,000 letters, faxes, and emails to Governors Spitzer and Paterson and lawmakers across the state. The battle against Real ID in New York is strong and new organizations and lawmakers continue to contact the NYCLU about the issue.

Today we ask you to double your commitment to fighting Real ID by taking action once again.

First, please take 30 seconds to send a <a href="http://ga1.org/campaign/repealrealid/wk65d7d9a3tm58b?">free fax</a> to your Congress member in support of the Identification Security Enhancement Act, a federal bill that would repeal the national ID card sections contained in the Real ID Act.

Second, join us on lobby visits. This month, the NYCLU and allies from across the state will be participating in lobby visits with members of Congress to ask for their co-sponsorship of H.R. 1117. Members of Congress are in-district right now and the meetings are beginning this week. Please join our lobbying team today.

If you are interested in visiting your member of Congress with us, please contact Ari by phone at 212-607-3358 or by email at arosmarin nyclu.org for details on meeting times and places.

Please act soon. If you don t know who your Congressional Representative is, click here to find out.

We ll be sure to keep to up-to-date as the fight against the Real ID Act continues. Thank you again for all that you do for civil liberties.

Send a letter to the following decision maker(s): Your Congressperson Your Senators

Below is the sample letter:

Subject: Repeal the Real ID Act; Co-Sponsor the Identification Security Enhancement Act Today

Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],

As your constituent, I urge you to support the repeal of the Real ID Act by co-sponsoring the bipartisan Identification Security Enhancement Act (H.R. 1117/S. 717).

If implemented in New York, the Real ID Act will lead to more taxes, bureaucratic hurdles, and identity theft for Americans. It will also create a national ID card system that will allow for the government and private sector to monitor the movements and activities of ordinary law-abiding New Yorkers.

The Department of Homeland Security has already stated that a Real ID card will become necessary for "everyday transactions" for Americans. In the near future, Americans will need a Real ID card to receive public benefits, vote, or access other private and government services. Those Americans who cannot afford a Real ID card could lose vital rights.

Protecting against fraudulent driver?s licenses is an important goal. Yet the Real ID Act goes much further and needlessly creates America's first-ever national ID card system.

That's why 22 states have already passed legislation rejecting the Real ID Act.

The Identification Security Enhancement Act will bring all critical stakeholders back to the table to discuss ID security, as Congress first recommended prior to passage of the Real ID Act. HR 1117 will protect Americans' fundamental rights to privacy and due process, and respect federalism principles by restoring to states the power to grant driver's licenses.

I am looking to your leadership on this issue by co-sponsoring the Identification Security Enhancement Act and taking long-overdue action to repeal the Real ID Act.

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #5
  • Originally posted Tuesday, August 26, 2008 (6 years ago)

Dear ACLU Supporter,

George W. Bush has launched a new assault on birth control and reproductive freedom.

Late last week, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) proposed regulations that could seriously undermine access to basic reproductive health services -- including birth control and abortion.

Instead of striking a careful balance between individual religious liberty and patients' access to reproductive health care, the Bush administration has taken patients' rights and their health care needs out of the equation.

We have less than 30 days to stop these new rules from being enacted. Take a stand now: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=28s4DV8DnsDnJFgfhNCF4w..

The rule leaves open the possibility that -- based on religious beliefs -- institutions and individuals can deny women access to birth control. It also permits individuals to refuse to provide information and counseling about basic heath care services. And it expands existing laws by permitting a wider range of health care professionals to refuse to provide even referrals for abortions.

Act fast to protect access to basic care for the millions of Americans who depend on federally funded health care services. Go to: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=WM3R4cYlv-_EtIqXwnaHrQ..

This far-reaching proposal doesn't need congressional approval. But, it can't go forward without allowing for public comment. That's where you come in.

Tell the Department of Health and Human Services to stop efforts to block women's access to basic reproductive health services. Submit your comments now: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=18Wh7IAih8dA_swFEqZ_8A..

The public comment period on these insidious regulations is open until September 20.

That's all the time we have to generate a massive public outcry. Take action now: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=CNivjj-9sFfjWh3EGB9eUw..

At a time when more and more Americans are either uninsured or struggling with the soaring costs of health care, the federal government should be expanding access to important health services, not undermining existing protections or interfering in programs that have successfully provided services for years.

Please act right now. The deadline on public comments is fast approaching, and we have to generate intense opposition to these dangerous regulations. After you take action, please forward this email to your friends and family who care about equal access to health care.

Thanks for standing with us.

Sincerely,

Louise Melling, Director ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project

  • Joined 3/2/06
  • 285
  • Post #6
  • Originally posted Tuesday, August 26, 2008 (6 years ago)

I got this in my e-mail forwared to me from a friend a week ago except it was MoveOn instead of the ACLU.

When I looked into at the time, it didn't make sense to me. Can anyone explain it to me from a strategic election standpoint? It seems like a no win for the GOP.

Obama has already come out against it and it would be one of the first things reversed if he becomes president. I think coming out against this only helps him. As of last week, McCain had refuse to comment on it (Maybe that has changed). I think this puts McCain in a tough position.

I don't see how McCain can come out for this change as an overwhelming majority of Americans support birth control (as this isn't an abortion issue). Furthermore, McCain verbally coming out against this only serves to push him further from his base. I would think there would be pressue from the GOP to end this quietly.

Have I missed something?

  • Joined 11/17/06
  • 1184
  • Post #7
  • Originally posted Wednesday, August 27, 2008 (6 years ago)

The Department of Health and Human Services thing?

Quote
The Purpose section of the regulation sets forth the objective that the proposed regulation would, when finalized, provide for the implementation and enforcement of federal nondiscrimination statutes protecting the conscience rights of health care entities. It also states that the statutory provisions and regulations contained in this Part are to be interpreted and implemented broadly to effectuate these protections.

(my emphasis)

http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2008pres/08/20080821reg.pdf

How is that not about abortion?

-- Rachel

  • Joined 3/2/06
  • 285
  • Post #8
  • Originally posted Wednesday, August 27, 2008 (6 years ago)

Sorry, when I said it wasn't about abortion, I didn't mean that abortion wasn't part of it. This is definitely a big problem for people that believe in the right to choose. What I was saying was this isn't just an abortion issue (with your standard pro choice vs pro life). The bigger problem of this bill is it might restrict birth control and family planning as it lumps these in with abortion.

So yes it applies to abortion (which I don't have the numbers in front of me, but there is a fairly decent number of people on each side of the issue) but would also apply to birth control (which the sides are much less balanced). A restriction on birth control would be extremely unpopular.

If it was strictly about abortion, it would make sense for the GOP (which is in power) to push this as a party as 1) they are very much against abortion. 2) It would rally there base and make right to life a stronger part of their platform. 3) there is a good chance a new party will be in power in the executive branch and they likely will not have the opprotuntiy to do it later.

But, this bill extends itself to contraception and family planning. As a party, they are much more mixed about banning birth control pills. This bill is written such that health care providers could choose not to offer contraceptives which some states (27 according to the Houston Chronicle) have a law stating they must.

This is why I don't see why this is happening. It seems like a very bad move for the Republican party (and the Democrats don't want this either). It just seems in best interest for the GOP for them to end this quietly or at least majorly change the wording in the new definition so it separates abortion from birth control.

I know this is coming from the department of health, but I don't think that department really has the power to do this if the president pushes against it.

  • Joined 12/8/06
  • 689
  • Post #9
  • Originally posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 (6 years ago)

Here's an article detailing the ACLU's opposition to eVerify: http://www.vdare.com/misc/080923_nelsen.htm

eVerify is an online program that businesses use to instantly match social security numbers given by new hires with their names, primarily to guard against hiring of illegal aliens giving fake numbers. The ACLU is opposed to "requiring employers to stand in the place of immigration agents by verifying worker eligibility using federal databases".

The author's retort to that was that "mandating use of the E-Verify system doesn't require employers to act as 'immigration agents' any more than mandating that new employees fill out a W-4 form requires employers to act as IRS 'agents'".

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #10
  • Originally posted Monday, September 29, 2008 (6 years ago)

Dear ACLU Supporter,

Bush and Mukasey are at it again. They've announced dangerous new FBI guidelines that will severely jeopardize the personal privacy of innocent Americans. These regulations need no congressional approval and are terrifying.

Just how far can the FBI go without any factual basis for suspecting improper -- let alone illegal -- activity?

Under far-reaching new guidelines proposed by Attorney General Michael Mukasey, the answer is frightening. All the FBI has to do to put you or any American under prolonged physical surveillance is assert an "authorized purpose" such as detecting or preventing crime or protecting "national security."

Sound familiar?

It's the same Bush/Cheney/Gonzales/Mukasey "just trust us" policies that have been eroding our rights for the past eight years.

And like with Bush's government spying and torture programs, there's a belief that government officials can ignore the law. In fact, we have good reason to suspect that the FBI has been violating its own internal guidelines all along and is now pushing these new guidelines to cover up past wrongdoing.

That's why we need to demand an investigation now, before these outrageous guidelines are implemented. The Inspector General's office at the Department of Justice has proven to be an unbiased, internal watchdog that has consistently exposed wrongdoing. We need to urge the IG to do it again.

Act now. Sign our petition to the Department of Justice Inspector General. Urge an immediate investigation into whether the FBI has been engaging in out-of-control investigative activities. Go to: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=BAm1M90LBZcsgoqnvLs0xg..

These new guidelines would allow the FBI to interview you, your friends and your family under a false pretext. The FBI could recruit secret informants and have them infiltrate peaceful protest groups. And the FBI could initiate investigations based on little more than race, ethnicity or religion.

The FBI could also search commercial databases for personal details about your life with no real reason.

And all of this would be allowed without an ounce of evidence that you or anyone else has done anything wrong.

Sign our petition to the Department of Justice Inspector General. Act now at: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=lwwEvj4yuF2L3Xb2ZxmwVw..

The last thing we can afford is to let the FBI claim out-of-control investigative powers in the closing months of the Bush administration.

Please act today to help us challenge this dangerous plan to put your personal privacy at risk: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=bt8BpVSYVctVj0yacvlUFw..

In defense of freedom,

Anthony D. Romero Executive Director ACLU

P.S. You can read the ACLU's letter to Glenn A. Fine, Inspector General at the U.S. Department of Justice, by going here: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=BQ5EynExRO5x6z5EmVAeVA..

Air Air
  • Joined 12/30/04
  • 10190
  • Post #11
  • Originally posted Monday, September 29, 2008 (6 years ago)
Quoted from "Glen"
The author's retort to that was that "mandating use of the E-Verify system doesn't require employers to act as 'immigration agents' any more than mandating that new employees fill out a W-4 form requires employers to act as IRS 'agents'".

But the company just fills in numbers - they don't verify anything on a W-4.

Do you know how awkward it is to have a political argument with a naked man?

  • Joined 8/7/06
  • 2448
  • Post #12
  • Originally posted Saturday, October 11, 2008 (6 years ago)

I understand that Maryland State Police may have opened up their political surveillance files. Check your Stasi file out!

Background.

you just got to listen to the music, 'cause it's talkin' to you man! -frankie http://www.zazzle.com/anarchyforpresident

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #13
  • Originally posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008 (6 years ago)

PROTECT THE RIGHT TO VOTE

The right to vote is protected by more constitutional amendments than any other right we have -- the 1st, 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th. And yet, as history shows, it is threatened by misleading campaigns providing false election information, malfunctioning voting machines, unfounded accusations of fraud and more. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=cP7DPJqkmZvmmQ94HRTgsA..

Dear ACLU Supporter,

We are on the eve of one of the most historic elections of our time. And the last thing America needs right now is another election that leaves us uncertain of its legitimacy.

Unfortunately, there are enough shenanigans going on to raise serious concerns.

The biggest of them all: Attorney General Mukasey and the Department of Justice (DOJ) are walking away from their sacred responsibility to guarantee smooth and fair elections.

While the government is engaged in a highly-publicized attempt to raise the specter of voter fraud against groups who have been working hard to register poor and minority voters, the DOJ is doing little, if anything, to deal with the real problem -- hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of registered voters who may turn up on Election Day just to be turned away.

Election officials should concentrate their limited resources on expanding access to the ballot box and protecting voters. Demand that the Department of Justice act to protect voting rights. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=pYt0e4mdxyHNblXm3Ye99Q..

The ACLU and other civil rights groups have repeatedly warned Justice Department officials that high-profile, partisan voter fraud investigations before Election Day have a chilling effect on voter turnout. Despite this feedback, the Department of Justice and the FBI continue with these highly publicized and partisan efforts prior to this historic election rather than stopping unlawful behavior in states all over the country where eligible voters are being improperly purged from the rolls.

For example, despite the ACLU's request to DOJ to intervene to stop states from purging eligible voters, DOJ was silent when Michigan engaged in two statewide voter purge programs that could have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of voters in advance of the November 4th election. The voter removal programs were operating in direct violation of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (NVRA), a federal law DOJ is supposed to enforce. By state officials' own admissions, these programs were impacting hundreds of thousands of voters.

The ACLU -- along with the Advancement Project -- fought these programs in court to protect the integrity of this year's election. And just last week, a federal judge found both programs to be illegal.

As Election Day fast approaches, help us keep the pressure on the DOJ for a fair election. Demand that the Department of Justice acts to protect voting rights. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=7qKnjgM5zHa6ZCp8B1YTTg..

If the 2004 election is any indicator, we can expect many more voter suppression tactics to pop up between now and Election Day -- things like voter intimidation masquerading as "poll watching," misleading campaigns providing false election information, additional unlawful purging of voter rolls, racially motivated voter suppression tactics, unfounded accusations of fraud and much, much more.

The right to vote is protected by more constitutional amendments than any other right we have -- the 1st, 14th, 15th, 19th, 24th and 26th. The Supreme Court has repeatedly declared that the right to vote is protective of all rights. Yet, in practice, that precious right is too often trampled upon.

Make sure the Department of Justice takes decisive action before Election Day to protect this sacred right. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=RWQzAmnm6mcqci3bKNds0w..

Thank you for all you do,

Anthony D. Romero Executive Director ACLU

P.S. Do you know the voting rights in your state? Get your own voter empowerment card and learn about the voting rights in your state. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=QV2Xy5PenA94WaKavOqaCA..

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #14
  • Originally posted Thursday, December 4, 2008 (6 years ago)

In America, no one is above the law: Speak out against pre-emptive pardons and restore the American values of justice and due process. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=HrhlU3ZP0hHh7AwGp7V5lA..

Dear ACLU Supporter,

There's a real risk that President Bush may issue pardons to a number of high-ranking Administration officials for any activities related to torture, extraordinary rendition and other abuses.

That's right. Even before they're charged with a crime, Bush has the power to prevent any criminal investigation into the activities of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Gonzales and others whose behavior raises serious questions.

Send a message to President Bush telling him you oppose preemptive pardons for torture. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=sHeNDO2sBzdE_u_wnqCPhA..

We must make it clear that preemptive pardons aimed at letting high-ranking officials escape accountability for undermining the Constitution and violating the law go against American values of justice and due process.

Today, the ACLU is urging concerned people all across the country to speak out against these pardons. Americans -- and the world -- have a right to know the truth about torture and other abuses carried out in our name.

Tell President Bush: you oppose preemptive pardons for torture. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=JkqteklhpKUB05YmoE9lYw..

This weekend, both The New York Times and The Washington Post issued powerful editorials calling on President Bush to resist taking this inflammatory action. We need you to do the same.

As the Post put it, "no country should be in the business of concealing its history." We should be getting at the truth, not excusing those involved in shameless acts.

So, in a preemptive campaign of our own, the ACLU is urging people all across the country to tell President Bush that you won't stand for preemptive pardons for people who were involved in torture, illegal detention, and other abuses.

Take action: Tell President Bush you oppose preemptive pardons for torture. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=mcVRmx9oUNDfPk1eCs5MvA..

In its editorial, The New York Times made the case clearly:

"The Bush administration distorted statutes and case law to legally justify interrogation techniques that had long been considered torture under domestic and international law. It relied on sloppy or aggressive legal analysis as a basis for evading judicial review of a warrantless wiretapping program. It has at every turn chosen the most expansive interpretation of the law to rationalize indefinite detentions and deny federal court review to those in custody. It has, in short, determined its preferred course of action first and then stitched together absurd readings of the law to defend those choices."The last thing America needs as we set out to restore the rule of law and repair America's reputation in the world is a last-ditch Bush effort to pardon those who guided our country so far off course.

Please act now. Help the ACLU raise a powerful wave of protest expressing outrage that pardons by President Bush are even under consideration. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=PsHoEv3DdZ1qPtoRBMBXhQ..

Sincerely,

Anthony D. Romero Executive Director ACLU

P.S. Pardons could happen at any time. We need as many people as possible to take part in this effort as quickly as possible. Please forward this email far and wide.

  • Joined 7/4/99
  • 6540
  • Post #15
  • Originally posted Thursday, December 4, 2008 (6 years ago)

Does anyone honestly think that Bush would bend to anything the ALCU can put out there? He doesn't even want to listen to the Supreme Court.

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #16
  • Originally posted Friday, December 5, 2008 (6 years ago)

Can't hurt to try. Think positive.

  • Joined 2/16/04
  • 1448
  • Post #17
  • Originally posted Friday, December 5, 2008 (6 years ago)

The election is over. He should start granting those pardons now instead of waiting for the last minute.

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #18
  • Originally posted Friday, December 12, 2008 (6 years ago)

ACLU Online The e-newsletter of the American Civil Liberties Union December 12, 2008

In This Issue:

-- 9/11 Detainees Postpone Guilty Pleas at Guant namo

-- Take Action: Tell Bush No Preemptive Pardons for Torture

-- Supreme Court Agrees To Review ACLU's Landmark Indefinite Detention Case

-- ACLU Challenges Florida's Ban on Adoption by Gay Parents

-- U.S. Citizen Severely Tortured While Detained in the United Arab Emirates at the Behest of the United States

-- Federal Court Rejects Bush Administration's Attempt to Deport Torture Victim

-- Landmark Human Rights Document Turns 60 This Week

9/11 Detainees Postpone Guilty Pleas at Guant namo

Earlier this week, five high-profile detainees attempted to submit guilty pleas before the government's ill-conceived military commissions at Guant namo. But, by end of day Monday, their pleas were tied up in a blizzard of confusion over unresolved legal questions.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and two other detainees charged with crimes related to the 9/11 attacks said they would postpone entering pleas until the competency of two additional co-defendants is determined. Outstanding questions remain about whether the death penalty can be imposed if the defendants plead guilty.

"Neither the military judge nor the accused are clear about how these proceedings will move forward," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, who was at Guant namo observing the proceedings.

"What is abundantly clear is that no matter how hard the government tries to advance the military commissions, this process doesn't work," Romero continued. "Questions of the death penalty and the competence of several of the defendants are still unresolved and not likely to be resolved. The only solution is to shut the military commissions down and start from scratch."

The ACLU is working on all fronts to dismantle this system of injustice that the Bush administration has created. Through the ACLU's John Adams Project, we're sponsoring expert civilian counsel to those held at Guant namo. In addition, we're mobilizing our nationwide network of grassroots activists, filing lawsuits and exposing the truth.

&gt;&gt; Watch: ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero video blog while visiting Guant namo this week. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=tIpzbqPIT-Uan2OOWIjj5A..

&gt;&gt;Take Action: Sign the open letter to President-elect Obama to demonstrate your support for him to close Guant namo. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=qEF9PNHKNTUoZxViyH3W1w..

&gt;&gt;Watch: 9/11 family members challenge legitimacy of Guant namo military commissions. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=sphzNZc_BwBNQlnGQ_TWcw..

&gt;&gt;Read:Anthony's inside account of his visit to Gitmo this week. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=UY5UKCeONPlrtN3uk4188Q..

Take Action: Tell Bush No Preemptive Pardons for Torture

There's a real risk that President Bush may issue pardons to a number of high-ranking Administration officials for any activities related to torture, extraordinary rendition and other abuses.

Even before they're charged with a crime, President Bush has the power to prevent any criminal investigation into the activities of Cheney, Rumsfeld, Ashcroft, Gonzales and others whose behavior raises serious questions.

Preemptive pardons aimed at letting high-ranking officials escape accountability for undermining the Constitution and violating the law go against American values of justice and due process.

The ACLU is urging people all across the country to tell President Bush that we won't stand for preemptive pardons for people who were involved in torture, illegal detention, and other abuses.

&gt;&gt; Take action: Tell President Bush you oppose preemptive pardons for torture. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=HXPLXlYoRVCXc21fsb-WtA..

Supreme Court Agrees To Review ACLU's Landmark Indefinite Detention Case

Late last week, the Supreme Court agreed to review the ACLU's landmark case against the Bush administration's claim that it can indefinitely imprison a legal resident of the United States without charge or trial.

The case was filed on behalf of Ali Saleh Kahlah al-Marri, who has been detained in solitary confinement at a Navy brig in South Carolina since June 2003. Al-Marri asked the Court to reverse a federal appeals court decision that gave the president sweeping power to deprive individuals in the United States of their most basic constitutional rights by designating them as "enemy combatants."

"The president has deviated from the principles on which the United States and its Constitution were founded: that individuals cannot be imprisoned for suspected wrongdoing without being charged with a crime and tried before a jury," said Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project and counsel for al-Marri. "We are confident that upon review, the Court will strike down this radical and unnecessary departure from our nation's most basic values."

&gt;&gt; Watch a short video of ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz discussing al-Marri's case. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=8zoqSnrbPCe4dPQNEGxe3Q..

ACLU Challenges Florida's Ban on Adoption by Gay Parents

The ACLU and lawyers for Martin Gill's adopted children filed a request last week in Florida's Third District Court of Appeals seeking to expedite the appeal of last week's court ruling that the ban on adoption by gay people violates the Florida constitution.

Martin Gill and his partner of more than eight years have been raising two foster children of the state since 2004.

"Everyone in this case agrees that prolonging a child's stay in foster care is not in his best interest," said Rob Rosenwald, Director of the ACLU of Florida LGBT Advocacy Project. "The trial court found that these children are thriving in this home and that there is no reason -- scientific or other -- that they should be denied the permanency and protections of adoption."

On November 25, 2008, Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Cindy Lederman granted adoption of two brothers, ages four and eight, to Martin Gill of North Miami, after a four-day trial that highlighted scientific evidence that proved gay and straight people make equally good parents. The decision overturned a 31-year-old discriminatory law banning gays and lesbians from adopting -- the only such law in the US.

The state appealed the decision immediately after it was announced.

&gt;&gt;Learn more about the family at the center of this case. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=sOpoHHoRbGjTvZsbUTwOdw..

&gt;&gt;Listen: Martin Gill talks about how the two foster children he is raising with his partner are harmed by Florida's law barring lesbians and gay men from adoption. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=8C0diAU4-eq2QkUxzFwxLA..

&gt;&gt;Watch a short video about the Gill family's fight against Florida's gay adoption ban. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=u5gc7WdsXF2vBo7iyQ9Kdw.. (This will take you to YouTube.com.)

U.S. Citizen Severely Tortured While Detained in the United Arab Emirates at the Behest of the United States

An American man detained in the United Arab Emirates at the behest of the U.S. government was released from State Security custody -- where he was detained incommunicado in a secret location -- and has been transferred to a prison in Abu Dhabi after suffering severe torture.

Naji Hamdan's transfer came only one week after lawyers for the ACLU filed a lawsuit alleging that the U.S. government was responsible for his detention.

On December 2nd, Naji Hamdan, who lived in the Los Angeles area for more than two decades, was allowed a phone call to his brother, Hossam Hamdan, a resident of Los Angeles. Hamdan reported to his brother that officials transferred him to a regular prison on November 26 and that his captors routinely beat him and kept him in a freezing underground room during his months-long detention by State Security forces. The torturers kicked him with their military boots in the location of his liver, knowing that he has a liver condition. On some occasions, they beat him so badly that Mr. Hamdan passed out for extended periods of time and believed he would die. On at least one occasion, they strapped his arms and legs down to an electric chair, while threatening to use it.

Hamdan's description of the torture and interrogation he endured makes clear that American agents have been involved. Although blindfolded by his torturers, Hamdan reported that some of the interrogators spoke native American English and were not fluent in Arabic. In addition, the agents interrogated Hamdan on topics about which only U.S. federal agents could have knowledge, such as a meeting he had with FBI agents.

The news of Hamdan's transfer comes after the ACLU filed a habeas corpus petition in federal district court in Washington, D.C., alleging that the U.A.E. detained Hamdan at the behest of the U.S. government. Last week, U.S. District Judge James Robertson ordered the government to respond to the petition.

Hamdan, who was born in Lebanon, lived for more than two decades in the Los Angeles area, where he ran an auto-parts business and helped manage the Islamic Center of Hawthorne, a mosque and community center. In 2006, he decided to relocate his family and business to the U.A.E

Hamdan's detention in the U.A.E. was the culmination of years of surveillance by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). This summer FBI agents traveled from Los Angeles to the U.A.E. to question Hamdan further. Approximately three weeks later he was detained by agents of the U.A.E. state security forces.

Hamdan's brother and others who know him from his activities at the Islamic Center of Hawthorne have all said that he is a peaceful family man who would never support violence.

If the U.S. government requested or participated in his detention and torture in the U.A.E., the United States government has violated this U.S. citizen's most elemental constitutional rights.

&gt;&gt;Take action: Tell your Members of Congress to help in the release of Hamdan. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=Hc7Dr4oCeT8lQCQw67HBMA..

Federal Court Rejects Bush Administration's Attempt to Deport Torture Victim

Rebuffing the Bush administration's efforts to deport Egyptian torture victim Sameh Khouzam, a federal appeals court today upheld his right to challenge Egypt's "diplomatic assurances" that it will not torture Khouzam upon his return. This is the latest development in an ongoing American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit on behalf of Khouzam.

"This is a significant victory for due process and the rights of all people -- citizens or not -- to be free from torture," said Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants' Rights Project, who argued the case before the court earlier this year. Khouzam, a Christian who came to the United States in 1998 fleeing religious persecution in Egypt, was granted protection from deportation under the Convention Against Torture (CAT) in 2004 after a federal appeals court found that he would likely be tortured if sent back to Egypt.

Despite this finding, as well as State Department reports showing that Egypt routinely engages in torture, the U.S. government tried to summarily deport Khouzam to Egypt based on diplomatic assurances the U.S. claims to have received from the Egyptian government that it asserts are "sufficiently reliable" to protect him from torture.

The CAT prohibits the U.S. from transferring a person "to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture." The U.S. government is attempting to use diplomatic assurances in Khouzam's case and others to circumvent its treaty obligations.

&gt;&gt; Read more about Khouzam's case on the ACLU's Blog of Rights. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=cLYDVCj5pq1Bah4rlQRcAQ..

Landmark Human Rights Document Turns 60 This Week

Marking the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the ACLU is calling on the incoming Obama administration to recommit to the rights and principles laid out in the document and use it as a guidepost for setting policy at home and abroad.

The UDHR was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948 to codify the basic human rights of all people and is widely considered to be the founding document of the modern human rights movement.

"Sadly, eight years of disastrous policy by the Bush administration have put the very rights embodied by the UDHR in jeopardy," said Jamil Dakwar, Director of the ACLU Human Rights Program. "President-elect Obama and Congress can reestablish America as a leader on human rights at home and abroad by making policies that reaffirm our dedication to the principles laid out in the UDHR."

&gt;&gt; Take action: Sign a petition urging Congress and President-elect Obama to recommit the U.S. to the principles of the UDHR. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=xKWQE_UTDKOqvwfNOYIkbA..

&gt;&gt; Learn more: Download the ACLU's report, "Human Rights Begin at Home: Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the UDHR." http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=94qS0mlHPacAaAIJ3XGE8w..

Tell Your Friends

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=wq6nm2nvvwfSmsaRtrhJQQ..

Do you know somebody who would be interested in getting news about the ACLU and what we're doing to protect civil liberties? Help us spread the word about ACLU Online -- forward this newsletter to a friend. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=nv6hDlrTUc0nt5G9SVqiqg..

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #19
  • Originally posted Tuesday, December 23, 2008 (6 years ago)

From the Desk of Alma Montclair Director of Administration and Finance American Civil Liberties Union http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=-3QsS_RHixubzBnox7JGAw..

Dear ACLU Supporter,

At the ACLU, we know that challenges to civil liberties can arrive from any quarter -- at any moment. And, we understand that, as America's leading civil liberties organization, we've got to be fully prepared to respond.

As Director of Administration and Finance, it's my job to make sure that that preparation includes prudently managing our organization's resources. So, as you and other ACLU supporters expect, we've been carefully monitoring and responding to the severe financial crisis enveloping America and its impact on our ability to defend fundamental freedoms.

In the last couple of weeks, however, we've been hit hard in a way that no one could forecast. You have, no doubt, heard about the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme in which investors have been horribly defrauded of up to 50 billion. What you may not know is that two foundations that have been incredibly generous and longstanding supporters of our national security and reproductive freedom work have been victimized by the Madoff scandal -- forced to close their doors and terminate their grants.

That means that 850,000 in support we were counting on from these foundations in 2009 simply won't exist. We're dealing with that reality and remain committed to continuing our critical work in these areas. But, as you can imagine, the year-end donations of you and other ACLU supporters are now more important than ever.

Please help the ACLU meet critical civil liberties needs in early 2009. Please make a year-end donation now. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=6oSZKDd0b81TH3SxzxFRFg..

I have been lucky enough to work for the ACLU for the past 23 years. Every day, I see firsthand just how far your donations go and just how critical your support is to people who depend on the ACLU to help protect their rights. We're there when no one else is willing or able to be -- and that's because you're there for us.

We know that times are tough for everyone, and, for that reason, we are even more appreciative of your support. With all we're going through, we need you to be there for us now more than ever.

I can promise you this: Every dollar you send will be used carefully and effectively to support vitally important work defending people's fundamental freedoms.

Thanks so much for all you're doing.

Sincerely,

Alma Montclair Director of Administration and Finance ACLU

P.S. Thanks to our special year-end matching gift campaign, your support will go even further at this critical time. Please make a gift today. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=WdvWK7V1nq0zWG6qMKmEnw..

ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, NY 10004

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 9360
  • Post #20
  • Originally posted Wednesday, December 24, 2008 (6 years ago)

Thank you, SEC.

Maybe McCain was right, but for the wrong reasons. Cox needs to go.

Kalman

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #21
  • Originally posted Thursday, January 8, 2009 (5 years ago)

ACLU Online The e-newsletter of the American Civil Liberties Union January 8, 2009

Happy New Year!

In 2009, the opportunity for real, positive change is at hand. But, after eight disastrous years for civil liberties, we have our work cut out for us. With your active support and involvement, we can renew America's commitment to the Constitution and the rule of law. We look forward to working with you in the year ahead to achieve many victories for freedom.

From everyone here at the ACLU, we wish you a healthy and happy New Year.

Anthony D. Romero Executive Director ACLU

In This Issue:

-- Gates Plan to Close Down Guant namo an Important First Step

-- Take Action: Equal Pay up for a Vote in the House Tomorrow

-- TSA Workers, JetBlue Settle Discrimination Charges over T-Shirt

-- Court Rules Patriot Act's "National Security Letter" Gag Provisions Unconstitutional

-- Bush Administration's New HHS Rules a Parting Shot at Women's Health

-- Military Reverses Bible Distribution Policy at Induction Centers

In the States:

-- ACLU Asks Court to Strike Down Arkansas Parenting Ban

Gates Plan to Close Down Guant namo an Important First Step

Last month, Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced that he had ordered aides to draw up plans for closing down the prison camp at Guant namo Bay, an important first step toward turning the page on eight years of shameful policies that allowed torture and violations of domestic and international law.

"The fact that Defense Secretary Gates is finally taking steps to close down Guant namo and its unconstitutional military commissions is a welcome and encouraging sign that President-elect Obama intends to fulfill his campaign pledge," said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU. "We are confident that, once in office, President Obama will give us an America we can be proud of again and return to our tried and true established system of justice."

Days after the election, the ACLU called on President-elect Obama to close the prison at Guant namo Bay and shut down the military commissions on his first day in the White House.

&gt;&gt;Take Action: Sign the open letter to President-elect Obama to demonstrate your support for him to close Guant namo. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=bK8S06E8yQkvECnWxmZypA..

&gt;&gt; Learn more about the ACLU's campaign to close Guant namo and end the military commissions. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=3qSRqbM11xbUjjNMXz3g4w..

Take Action Today: Equal Pay up for a Vote in the House Tomorrow, January 9th

The new Congress is only days old, but already we have a great opportunity for equality with two critical bills that will come up for a House vote tomorrow, January 9th.

If enacted, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (H.R. 11) will correct a grave injustice perpetrated by a wrong-headed 2007 Supreme Court decision. In the Ledbetter case, the Court ruled that an employee must challenge pay discrimination within 180 days of the employer's initial decision to discriminate or forever forfeit his or her right to demand equality. Absurdly, this is true whether the employee knows about the discrimination in that time period or not.

The legislation now before Congress will restore the well-established right of people to sue to recover lost wages for ongoing pay discrimination that, in many cases, lasts years and years.

The vitally important Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 12) is also up for a vote in the House Friday. This bill will put an end to loopholes and weak remedies that have made the Equal Pay Act, a 45 year-old law that was supposed to ensure equal pay for women, less effective than it should be in combating wage discrimination.

Together, these bills will provide the tools needed to gain equal pay for equal work and combat the damaging effects of wage discrimination faced by hard-working employees and their families.

The Senate is expected to take up these bills very soon as well. We expect the margin to be razor-thin. A strong House vote for both these bills will help convince on-the-fence Senators to do the right thing.

&gt;&gt;Take Action Today: Tell your member of Congress to support equality and pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=os_3Js8TEo6t8eOoG5GWwQ..

TSA Workers, JetBlue Settle Discrimination Charges over T-Shirt

In a victory for constitutional rights, two Transportation Security Authority (TSA) officials and JetBlue Airways have paid Raed Jarrar 240,000 to settle charges that they illegally discriminated against the U.S. resident based on his ethnicity and the Arabic writing on his t-shirt.

TSA and JetBlue officials prevented Jarrar from boarding his August 2006 flight at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport until he agreed to cover his shirt, which read "We Will Not Be Silent" in English and Arabic, and then forced him to sit at the back of the plane. The ACLU filed a federal civil rights lawsuit on Jarrar's behalf in August 2007.

On August 12, 2006, Jarrar was waiting to board a JetBlue flight from New York to Oakland, California, when he was approached by two TSA officials. One of them told Jarrar that he needed to remove his shirt because other passengers were not comfortable with the Arabic script.

"This settlement should send a clear message to all TSA officials and airlines that they cannot discriminate against passengers based on their race or the ethnic content of their speech," said Aden Fine, senior staff attorney with the ACLU First Amendment Working Group and lead attorney on the case.

&gt;&gt;Learn about this case and watch a video featuring Jarrar. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=zCXgW2JrdBKuEii_wk2XFw..

Court Rules Patriot Act's "National Security Letter" Gag Provisions Unconstitutional

Last month, a federal appeals court sided with the ACLU and upheld, in part, a decision striking down the gag provisions of the Patriot Act which prevent National Security Letter (NSL) recipients from speaking out about secret demands for records.

The decision comes in an ACLU lawsuit, Doe v. Mukasey, challenging the FBI's authority to use NSLs to demand sensitive and private customer records from Internet Service Providers and then forbid them from discussing the requests.

"This is a major victory for the rule of law," said Melissa Goodman, staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project. "By upholding the critical check of judicial review, the FBI can no longer use this incredible power to hide abuse of its intrusive Patriot Act surveillance powers and silence critics."

Since the Patriot Act -- which relaxed restrictions on the FBI's use of power -- was passed in 2001, the number of NSLs issued has seen an astronomical increase to nearly 200,000 between 2003 and 2006. A March 2008 report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed that the FBI continues to impose gag orders on about 97 percent of NSL recipients and that, in some cases, the FBI failed to sufficiently justify why the gag orders were imposed in the first place.

&gt;&gt;Learn about Doe v. Mukasey and NSLs. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=bRbNhOmLmKlvJYXv_hZWaQ..

Bush Administration's New HHS Rules a Parting Shot at Women's Health

Despite public objections, the Bush administration last month released a controversial rule that will jeopardize women's health and access to birth control. The final rule expands the ability of health care providers to refuse to provide services and fails to include patient protections.

After issuing the proposed rule change in August, the administration received more than 200,000 comments opposing the regulation, including those from the ACLU and its state affiliates, medical associations, women's health organizations, members of Congress, state governors and attorney generals, religious advocates and the general public. In its comments, the ACLU explained that federal law already requires employers to attempt to accommodate employees' religious and moral objections to the provision of any health care service.

"At a time when more and more Americans are either uninsured or struggling with the soaring costs of health care, the federal government should be expanding, not hampering, access to important health services," said Louise Melling, director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

&gt;&gt;Read the ACLU's comments on the proposed rule. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=2Bs3UkE2riV7XQ27LZveIQ..

Military Reverses Bible Distribution Policy at Induction Centers

In a move that will help protect the religious freedom of new inductees, the U.S. military reversed its policy of giving preferential access to some religious groups who provide literature to new recruits.

Some induction centers, known as Military Entrance Processing Stations (MEPS), have granted Gideons International special access to military recruits in order to provide Bibles and religious messages on the day of their induction.

After it was discovered that Gideons International was granted privileged access to distribute its Bibles at military induction facilities, the ACLU sent a letter to the commanding officer of MEPS in August 2007 to determine the extent to which religious and non-religious organizations were permitted to circulate literature.

The Military Entrance Processing Command's new rule establishes an equal access principle that allows organizations to provide secular or religious literature in the facilities to avoid the "impression that the government is sponsoring, endorsing, or inhibiting religion generally, or favoring or disfavoring a particular religion."

"The new rule strikes the right constitutional balance by preserving religious liberty without showing governmental favoritism for one religion or belief over another," said Dr. T. Jeremy Gunn, Director of the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief.

&gt;&gt; Learn more about the ACLU Program on Freedom of Religion and Belief. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=UDNkF7ZN04InXUUUqVjiEQ..

ACLU Asks Court to Strike Down Arkansas Parenting Ban

The ACLU filed a lawsuit last week seeking to strike down the new law, Act 1, which bans any unmarried person who lives with a partner from serving as an adoptive or foster parent in the state of Arkansas.

In the lawsuit, the ACLU argues that Act 1 violates the federal and state constitutional rights to equal protection and due process. Participating in the case are 29 adults and children from over a dozen different families, including a grandmother who lives with her same-sex partner of nine years and is the only relative able and willing to adopt her grandchild who is now in Arkansas state care. Also participating in the case are several married heterosexual couples who have relatives or friends disqualified by Act 1 who they want to adopt their children if they die.

"This law hurts families and children in many ways," said Rita Sklar, Executive Director of the ACLU of Arkansas. "It takes away parents' right to decide for themselves who will adopt their children if they die, denies the many children in Arkansas state care a chance at the largest possible pool of potential foster and adoptive homes, and denies couples who are living together but unmarried the chance to provide loving homes to children who desperately need them."

&gt;&gt; Learn more information on the case and the plaintiffs' stories. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=ywiji5Z2jn31yspcxcBbcQ..

YOU CAN HELP PROTECT OUR BASIC FREEDOMS...

by joining with over 550,000 card-carrying members of the ACLU. Our rights as individuals -- the very foundation of our great democracy -- depend on our willingness to defend them, and as an ACLU member, you'll be doing your part.

Click here to safeguard our Bill of Rights by becoming an ACLU member: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=U_6kaSeRW5P5XZtPCpZDEg..

Tell Your Friends

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=6otniBCK77uIFZLPvecEhA..

Do you know somebody who would be interested in getting news about the ACLU and what we're doing to protect civil liberties? Help us spread the word about ACLU Online -- forward this newsletter to a friend. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=TIqu75UmkNlJD4FyOWZNqg..

American Civil Liberties Union 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor New York, New York 10004-2400 Geraldine Engel and Lisa Sock, Editors

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #22
  • Originally posted Thursday, January 22, 2009 (5 years ago)

The time is now to stop talking about change and start making it.

With a new president in Washington and a new political order in Albany, there has rarely been a time with greater potential for New Yorkers to make a difference if we re ready to demand the change that a free, fair and just society requires.

We know you have fought with the NYCLU through the darkest days of the Bush administration.

But now we need your energy, your brains and your guts to help lead New York into the light.

Thats why I am proud to announce that the NYCLU is launching an exciting initiative to build a powerful new activist force throughout New York State. And we need you to be a part of it. We have to act now if we want to keep things from returning to the way they have always been.

From Buffalo to Long Island and everywhere in between, we are planning a new strategic, aggressive mobilization of volunteer civil rights advocates to help deliver the change this state so dearly needs. And don't worry--we'll provie all the training and support you need to take advantage of this historic moment for civil rights.

Please click here http://www.nyclu.org/activisttaskforce to join together with your neighbors and be a part of the NYCLU s Activist Task Force in your community.

This year, NYCLU activists will be working on one of the most important civil rights issues facing New York: advocating for true reform of the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws.

After 36 years of demonstrated failure, New York s Rockefeller Drug Laws some of the harshest drug sentencing laws in the country have resulted in decades of profound injustice. Their impact on families is tragic: Thousands of predominately black and Latino New Yorkers are currently imprisoned for extraordinarily long sentences far from home and their children for minor, non-violent drug crimes.

But the time for reform is now. Let s seize this moment.

Join a local NYCLU Activist Task Force today and we ll get started together on making New York what it should be.

Yours,

Donna Lieberman Executive Director New York Civil Liberties Union

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #23
  • Originally posted Tuesday, March 10, 2009 (5 years ago)

For New Yorkers, please go to this page and send this message to Governor Patterson.

http://ga1.org/campaign/RockefellerDrugLawsReform

New York must reform the Rockefeller Drug Laws

The Rockefeller Drug Laws, enacted in 1973, mandate extremely harsh prison terms for the possession or sale of small amounts of drugs. Intended to target drug kingpins, most of the people incarcerated under these laws are convicted of low-level, nonviolent offenses. Many of the thousands of New Yorkers in prison under these laws suffer from substance abuse problems; many others struggle with issues related to homelessness, mental illness or unemployment.

The Rockefeller Drug Laws create stark racial disparities in prison populations and exact an enormous financial toll on all of New York State.

After 36 years, the chance for true reform of these laws is greater this year than it ever has been.

The governor, assembly speaker and senate majority leader have all expressed support for Rockefeller Drug Law reform.

On March 4, the New York State Assembly passed a strong reform bill, the first step on the road to a new direction for New York.

Now the bill moves to the senate and to the governor s office. New York s lawmakers will not make change happen unless you lead the way. But the district attorneys association, the only remaining defenders of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, are pushing back.

Send a free fax to your senators and to Governor Paterson urging them to put 36 years of failed Rockefeller Drug Laws behind us, once and for all. Tell the Senate to pass S.2855, and tell the Governor to sign it into law.

  • For 36 years, the Rockefeller Drug Laws have done nothing to stop drug abuse or help people struggling to overcome addiction in New York. Public health experts agree there is a better way: treatment and rehabilitation.

  • The Rockefeller Drug Laws have created unconscionable racial disparities. While 72 percent of New Yorkers who have used illegal drugs are white, more than 90 percent of people incarcerated for drug offenses in New York State are black or Latino.

  • The Rockefeller Drug Laws have destroyed lives, families, neighborhoods and whole communities for decades. More than 25,000 children have been orphaned by our state s drug laws. Sixty percent of people who have been incarcerated can t find work a year after release.

  • New York State could save 267 million annually by treating and rehabilitating those who need it. Our state can t afford the Rockefeller Drug Laws.

  • Judges must have the authority to do what they think is best in the interest of justice and public safety. Mandatory minimum sentences bust be eliminated and judges must have the option of sending people to drug treatment and rehabilitation instead of prison.

  • New York State needs alternatives to incarceration programs in every county in the State. Experts agree: Some drug users need mental health services, treatment, education, and job-training programs instead of a jail cell.

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #24
  • Originally posted Tuesday, March 17, 2009 (5 years ago)

Act now to keep up the fight against the Health Care Denial Rule!

In September, hundreds of thousands of people (including hundreds of NYCLU supporters!) sent comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about new regulations that would undermine the ability of America women to obtain basic health care. We called these regulations what they were: an attempt to place ideology above science and reduce access to abortion and birth control. In short, a Health Care Denial Rule.

As we expected, George Bush didn't pay attention.

President Obama did.

Last week, the administration announced its intention to rescind these rules. We came out in full force against Bush's lame duck proposal. Now we need to encourage President Obama to continue to demonstrate his commitment to women's health by rescinding Bush's Health Care Denial Rule.

Take Action Now!

http://ga1.org/campaign/healthcaredenial

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #25
  • Originally posted Wednesday, April 15, 2009 (5 years ago)

Please watch Jameel's video and share it with your friends and family. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=bbr17kEjWu8EptyWIuXdng..

Dear ACLU Supporter,

This Thursday, April 16, the American people may finally get a chance to see key legal memos prepared by the Bush administration to justify the CIA's illegal torture program.

More than four years after the ACLU began its legal battle to obtain the memos, the Justice Department will finally decide by this Thursday whether or not they are going to be released.

Will the Obama administration live up to its promise of transparency? I am sending along a short video about just what this crucial moment means from Jameel Jaffer, Director of the ACLU's National Security Project.

Please watch Jameel's video and share it with your friends and family. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=xhYPGezs2nYV9jxHdUKdAQ..

For years, the ACLU has been working to uncover information about the abuse of prisoners in the so called "war on terror". I hope you share my deep gratitude for all of the extraordinary ACLU lawyers that have fought so long and hard to get at the truth.

It's required persistence and resolve, but the release on Thursday of this latest round of torture memos could be a major step forward in restoring our nation's constitutional values.

Under an agreement with the ACLU, the Obama administration is now considering the release of four memos written by the Bush Justice Department, in 2002 and 2005, that were used by the Bush administration to provide legal cover for its abusive interrogation techniques.

We have a right to know how the Bush administration circumvented the law and justified violating human rights.

But transparency is only the first step.

We must demand accountability if we are going to restore our values at home and rebuild our reputation abroad.

Please watch this video and share it with everyone you know. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=pxwiaG-tIXipyuHUxuPSwg..

Americans should never be afraid of learning the truth about their government.

Thank you for supporting this fight for accountability.

Sincerely,

Steve Shapiro Legal Director ACLU

ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #26
  • Originally posted Thursday, April 16, 2009 (5 years ago)

Today, riding the momentum of back-to-back LGBT rights victories in Iowa and Vermont, Governor Paterson thrust New York into the historic movement for marriage fairness by introducing a bill that would allow lesbian and gay New Yorkers to get married.

Now it is time for the NYS Senate and Assembly to step up and make New York the next champion in the fight for fairness.

Currently, many same-sex couples can t make medical decisions for one another or visit a sick partner in the hospital, get employer health care coverage for their family or provide a security net for their children because their relationship is not recognized. Governor Paterson s civil marriage bill would right those wrongs. The fight is too close to stay silent!

Tell Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith and his Senate and Assembly colleagues: Support Marriage Rights in New York. It s time to follow Vermont, Iowa, Connecticut and Massachusetts s lead and get back to New York s history of respecting all families. This is the time to do it every vote will count and your elected official needs to hear from you.

Click here to send a free fax to your elected official. You can also call the governor to say thank you for his support. Cal him today: 518-474-8390

http://ga1.org/campaign/MarriageFairness

We are so close! The marriage bill s final hurtle is the NYS Senate. In 2007, the NYS Assembly s Democrats and Republicans passed the marriage fairness bill in an 85-61 vote after an impassioned floor debate lasting more than three hours. Now we need the Senate to act. Get your voice heard, today!

  • Joined 12/8/06
  • 689
  • Post #27
  • Originally posted Saturday, April 18, 2009 (5 years ago)
Quoted from "Just Jesse"
Today, riding the momentum of back-to-back LGBT rights victories in Iowa and Vermont, Governor Paterson thrust New York into the historic movement for marriage fairness by introducing a bill that would allow lesbian and gay New Yorkers to get married.

Lesbian and gay New Yorkers have always been able to get married, it just has to be with someone of the opposite sex. Still, this was a very smart move on the NY governor's part--his approval ratings have been terrible, below 30 in many polls, but just by taking the side of an issue that supporters so passionately believe in his ratings should climb considerably.

Indeed, I really don't think the NY governor cares that much about same-sex marriage or else he would have brought it up passionately and repeatedly since becoming governor. His johnny-come-lately views over this issue are probably politically motivated.

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #28
  • Originally posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 (5 years ago)

On his 100th day in office, President Obama will hold his 3rd prime time press conference. He will be asked roughly 25 questions. We have to make sure at least one of them is about torture.

http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=iQQDSOoO2vJ_5wXu3bMrLQ..

Dear ACLU Supporter,

You and I can't let the issue of torture and accountability fade from view.

Tomorrow night at 8 p.m., President Obama will hold a news conference on the 100th day of his presidency. He will be asked roughly 25 questions. We have to make sure at least one of them is about torture.

Here's how you can help: Urge White House correspondents for the major TV networks to ask the president this question: http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=X9Fm-PbIkkaJiGXeptt93A..

The so-called "enhanced interrogation techniques" exposed in the torture memos include keeping detainees awake for up to 11 straight days, dousing them with cold water and placing them naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. One prisoner -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- was waterboarded 183 times in a month.

Do you believe that a country - or a president - can afford to look at shocking evidence of illegal torture and simply look away? Act now. Make sure the president is asked about torture tomorrow night. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=NTgOyCwPCb6asJukWkxA8Q..

As you know, the ACLU forced the release of the Bush torture memos and sparked a nationwide debate about torture and accountability. And we're keeping the pressure on:

Today, a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the ACLU in an important case against Jeppesen Data Plan -- a subsidiary of Boeing. Jeppesen was responsible for organizing extraordinary rendition flights used repeatedly by the CIA to move detainees to countries where they could be tortured. In response to a long-standing ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Department of Defense has agreed to release a substantial number of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel by May 28. In another crucial ACLU case, a federal judge has rejected the CIA's attempt to withhold records related to the agency's destruction of 92 videotapes that depicted the harsh interrogation of CIA prisoners.

These events are critical to helping the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse. They are also crucial to holding senior officials accountable for authorizing or permitting such abuse.

Thanks for standing with us.

Sincerely,

Anthony D. Romero Executive Director ACLU

ACLU, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, NY 10004

  • Joined 5/9/04
  • 6603
  • Post #29
  • Originally posted Tuesday, April 28, 2009 (5 years ago)

Jesse, you might enjoy this program regarding the ACLU today. I heard just the tail end of the program, and I'm eager now to listen to the podcast.

Of puns it has been said that those who most dislike them are those who are least able to utter them. Edgar Allan Poe

  • Joined 12/31/69
  • 2788
  • Post #30
  • Originally posted Sunday, June 21, 2009 (5 years ago)

We must not protect torturers and their enablers from accountability for their actions. And we must not let the government hide behind the overly-broad use of state secrets.

Ask your representative to co-sponsor the State Secrets Protection Act of 2009 and limit the claim of "state secrets" to specific evidence. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=bOue3pdZiPadJSt6Ydj_WQ..

Dear ACLU Supporter,

The CIA's rendition and torture program is not a "state secret." It's a national disgrace.

On Friday, the Justice Department asked the 9th District Court of Appeals to rehear its argument to throw out our extraordinary rendition lawsuit on the basis that it cannot be tried without revealing "state secrets."

We must not protect torturers and their enablers from accountability for their actions. And we must not let the government hide behind the overly-broad use of state secrets.

Ask your representative to co-sponsor the State Secrets Protection Act of 2009 and limit the claim of "state secrets" to specific evidence. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=HFo72AgNAjGNF-9om9b-NA..

The ACLU's extraordinary rendition lawsuit was filed by five men who were forcibly kidnapped and secretly transferred to U.S.-run prisons where they were tortured. The case targets Jeppesen DataPlan, a subsidiary of Boeing that provided crucial support services to the CIA for illegal torture flights.

The Bush administration initially had the case thrown out by improperly asserting the "state secrets" privilege. The ACLU appealed and in May, won the right to move forward with the case.

Now the government is trying to throw the case out again. On Friday, the Justice Department asked the appeals court to rehear the decision and uphold its bogus "state secrets" claim.

Contact your member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the State Secrets Protection Act. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=58V1itW8V7oYP145A-fNXQ..

The government has asserted the "state secrets" claim with increasing regularity in an attempt to throw out lawsuits and justify withholding information from the public.

Let's be clear -- no one is interested in taking away the government's legitimate right to protect sensitive national security information. But, the Bush administration expanded the definition of "state secrets" dangerously beyond its previous limits and set a dangerous precedent that has continued.

In addition to extraordinary rendition, the claim of "state secrets" has also been made about illegal wiretapping, torture and other breaches of U.S. and international law.

Supporting this bill will have an impact on countless civil liberties cases in the months and years ahead.

Please take a moment to contact your member of Congress and ask them to co-sponsor the State Secrets Protection Act. http://action.aclu.org/site/R?i=iSqgCqa8w_-EqKoLAZJrdA..

Thank you for standing with us.

Sincerely,

Caroline Fredrickson, Director ACLU Washington Legislative Office

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