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Why civil liberties matter - an open letter to the Obama administration

Oct 05, 2010, 21:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Sugar)

""They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did." - Maȟpíya Lúta

"In a recent Rolling Stone magazine interview, you spoke of this administration's commitment to civil rights while simultaneously insulting the intelligence of those who are concerned with civil liberties. It is this administration's actual record on civil liberties, a record that is in fact worse than the preceding one, that is both clearly inexcusable and dangerously irresponsible.

"The civil rights movement that you spoke about, and as we recognize today,would not have been possible without civil liberties. While laws were clearly misused to try suppressing that movement, those efforts failed largely because the U.S. at the time had some institutional commitment to essential core legal principles that included privacy, the freedom of speech and association, due process, and the presumption of innocence. Although each of these fundimental legal principles had been challenged on a reversible basis by the Bush administration, it is your justice department that has worked tirelessly to make those temporary transgressions become a permanent and enduring part of the institutional law of the United States."

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