Why civil liberties matter - an open letter to the Obama administration
Oct 05, 2010, 21:03 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by David Sugar)
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""They made us many promises, more than I can remember, but they
kept only one; they promised to take our land, and they did." -
"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."