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Archive for the ‘ACLU’ Category

The Slow Mental Torture of Bradley Manning

Posted by Phoenix Woman on January 23, 2011

Quantico brass have apparently decided they’re going to harrass and deny visitation rights to the only person who they haven’t scared away from visiting Bradley Manning in solitary confinement:

Bradley ManningAt roughly 1:00 pm, upon driving onto the base at Quantico, David House and blogger Jane Hamsher were detained by military guards. House, who is on the Quantico Brig’s visitation list, has been visiting Bradley Manning in confinement since last September.

In December 2010, House came forward with testimony that he witnessed a deterioration in Manning’s physical and mental state due to the conditions of solitary confinement. House traveled to the Quantico brig to check up on Bradley’s well-being after a week in which Manning’s lawyer filed an Article 138 complaint over Manning’s mistreatment at Quantico. House and Hamsher also planned to deliver a 42,000 signature strong petition calling for an end to the inhumane conditions that Manning is being held. Upon arriving at the main entrance at Quantico, House and Hamsher were stopped and detained by military police who provided no explanation of detainment aside from a statement from one MP that his orders to detain had “come from the top.”

Manning is incarcerated because of the word of Adrian Lamo. It’s obvious to everyone who’s looked closely at Lamo’s evidence and actions that he is a grossly unreliable witness who cannot be put on the witness stand; therefore, the DOD’s game plan seems to be to break Bradley Manning in the hope that he’ll tell them what they want to hear. However, breaking people in this fashion doesn’t provide truthful testimony, or even coherent lies. Instead, it just wrecks them in such a way that they can’t be put back together again.

Posted in abuse of power, ACLU | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Why I’m not a member of the ACLU (and why you shouldn’t be either)

Posted by Charles II on January 29, 2010

The ACLU does a lot of good stuff. The southern California chapter deserves a lot of credit for taking on tough issues, like Tasers. But the national organization consistently sides with corporations against human beings. They were longtime defenders of the tobacco companies’s right to addict people, even as they were taking large amounts of money from the industry. More recently, they sided with Citizens United against the FEC, a case that resulted in the overthrow of all campaign finance restrictions on corporations:

Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission … Section 203 of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 prohibits unions and corporations (both for-profit and non-profit) from engaging in “electioneering communications.” The legislative definition of an “electioneering communication” was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2003 and then substantially narrowed by the Supreme Court in 2007. In scheduling this case for reargument, the Court specifically requested briefs on whether section 203 should now be struck down as facially unconstitutional. The ACLU has consistently taken the position that section 203 is facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment because it permits the suppression of core political speech, and our amicus brief takes that position again.

Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitzrakis, SC:

The Supreme Court’s atrocious Citizen’s United green light for unlimited corporate campaign spending had a willing accomplice — the American Civil Liberties Union.


As long-time supporters, we are horrified by the ACLU’s betrayal of political reality and plain common sense.

Standing proudly with the victorious corporate hacks on the steps of the SCOTUS was none other than the legendary First Amendment crusader Floyd Abrams.

Keith Olberman has called him a “Quisling” for aiding and abetting this catastrophic confirmation of corporate “personhood.”…

It has been reported that the ACLU Board is now considering endorsing limits on campaign spending. Abrams has been reported as arguing that “The worst thing you could do – the absolutely worst thing you could do – is transform a civil liberties organization into a liberal political organization.”

But this decision has transformed the ACLU into a conservative political organization, working to arm the ultimate enemies of democracy with unlimited monetary and political power.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is a far more worthy organization to receive your contributions than the ACLU.

Posted in ACLU, capitalism as cancer, civil rights, Constitution, corruption | 2 Comments »

Justice Department Thought Police

Posted by MEC on October 24, 2007

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Reported in The Memory Hole:

The Justice Department tipped its hand in its ongoing legal war with the ACLU over the Patriot Act. Because the matter is so sensitive, the Justice Dept is allowed to black out those passages in the ACLU’s court filings that it feels should not be publicly released.

Ostensibly, they would use their powers of censorship only to remove material that truly could jeopardize US operations. But in reality, what did they do? They blacked out a quotation from a Supreme Court decision:

“The danger to political dissent is acute where the Government attempts to act under so vague a concept as the power to protect ‘domestic security.’ Given the difficulty of defining the domestic security interest, the danger of abuse in acting to protect that interest becomes apparent.”

This isn’t an absurdity. It’s an alarming indication of the mindset of the people who are supposedly protecting not just the American people, but our system of government. They see a “threat to national security” in a statement defending political dissent. They treat the highest judicial authority in our government as a threat. They treat a fundamental principle of our democracy as a threat.

And they have the arrogance to think no one will notice what they’re doing.

Posted in abuse of power, ACLU, anti-truth, BushCo malfeasance, Constitutional crisis, Department of Injustice, DoJ, First Amendment, PATRIOT Act | 5 Comments »

Wednesday Afternoon News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 24, 2007


“Supply-side economics” and “the Laffer Curve” were long ago shown to be bogus lies, but most of the mainstream press is too lazy, ignorant, bought off or cowed to dare mention this on a basis that would be frequent enough to make Republicans embarrassed to embrace these lies.

— Paul Slansky enumerates the many reasons why Pete Stark was absolutely right about George W. Bush.

Chris Dodd:  Real American.  That is all.

Glenn Beck, hating on San Diego fire victims.  Stay classy, Glenn!

Posted in 2008, ACLU, beat the press, big money, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, capitalism as cancer, Congress, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, economy | 4 Comments »

Friday Noon News Roundup

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 19, 2007


— So, if Cynthia McKinney had to be forced out of Congress for being anti-Semitic, what does that say about Al Wynn’s campaign (h/t Atrios)? Or is it OK because he’s Rahm Emanuel’s bestest fwend evah?

— The ACLU’s good FISA bill in the House (HR 3782) was shot down. The not-so-good House bill (the RESTORE Act) was sabotaged by Eric Coulter Cantor. The horrific Bush-and-telco-coddling, Constitution-raping Senate bill is being waved onto the Senate floor, over the holds and objections voiced by Senators Chris Dodd and Patrick Leahy, with hugs and kisses from Harry Reid and Dianne Feinstein.

But Chris Dodd has something to say about that: FILIBUSTER!

Reward good behavior.

Posted in 2008, ACLU, Bush, BushCo malfeasance, Busheviks, Congress, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, Democrats, Democrats with spines, Harry Reid | Comments Off on Friday Noon News Roundup

I Can Haz Dodd-Edwards? (Or Edwards-Dodd?)

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 18, 2007

I’m an Edwards fan, but dang if Chris Dodd isn’t making a strong case for deserving to be in the White House right now.

From his e-mail to his list this afternoon:

It’s been a busy day, but I wanted take a moment and let you know that I have decided to place a “hold” on legislation in the Senate that includes amnesty for telecommunications companies that enabled the President’s assault on the Constitution by providing personal information on their customers without judicial authorization.

I said that I would do everything I could to stop this bill from passing, and I have.

It’s about delivering results — and as I’ve said before, the FIRST thing I will do after being sworn into office is restore the Constitution.

But we shouldn’t have to wait until then to prevent the further erosion of our country’s most treasured document.

That’s why I am stopping this bill today.

I’ve gotta run, but please visit my campaign website for more details.


Reward good behavior, if you’re so inclined.

Posted in 2008, ACLU, Congress, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, Democrats, Democrats with spines | 2 Comments »

Christy Speaks.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 9, 2007

You do.

The Constitution you save will be your own.

Glenn Greenwald has more.  (Short version:  House bill good, Senate bill bad.  And don’t forget the magic words:  “Primary Challengers”.)

Posted in 2008, abuse of power, ACLU, Congress, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, Democrats, Democrats with spines, First Amendment | 1 Comment »

Tutu No, Coulter Yes?!?

Posted by Phoenix Woman on October 5, 2007

I’m sure you’ve all heard by now that pressure from a small right-wing group (which deliberately confuses criticism of Israeli policies with anti-Semitism)  not only cowed the University of St. Thomas into axing a planned visit by Desmond Tutu, but also caused the demotion of a faculty member who protested the axing. (Meanwhile, Ann Coulter came to speak there a couple years ago and the same people who axed Tutu were either silent or cheering.)

Jewish Voice for Peace (h/t to AlterNet) is asking concerned citizens to contact the Tommies and ask them to let Bishop Tutu speak — and to reinstate Professor Cris Toffolo, who had opposed the censoring of Bishop Tutu and who was then punished for her opposition, as the chair of St. Thomas’ Justice and Peace Studies program. It’s the right thing to do.

Posted in ACLU, First Amendment, Minnesota, peace, speaking truth to power, WTF? | Comments Off on Tutu No, Coulter Yes?!?

And Now A Message From The ACLU

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 27, 2007

 From the Congress as Sheep webpage of the ACLU:

Help Us Run the “Congress as Sheep” Ads

Ever since a new Congress got elected last November, we’ve been waiting for it to end the violations of the Constitution and the lawless behavior of the Bush administration. Members of Congress acted, but instead of restoring our freedoms, they actually handed the Bush administration vast new powers to invade our privacy with no meaningful oversight from the courts or Congress.

Congress cowered to George Bush because they didn’t want to be labeled “soft on terrorism.” So, it’s time to show House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that Americans want them to protect our Constitution. It’s bad enough Congressional leaders have failed to act to restore habeas corpus, end torture and rendition, and close Guantanamo. But now Congress, led by Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, has caved in to Bush fear-mongering and expanded a warrantless spying program they should be investigating and ending.

When our leaders behave like sheep, their constituents need to know it. Please make as generous a gift as you can afford to help us run these ads and keep the pressure on Congress.

Posted in 2008, ACLU, Congress, Constitution, Constitutional crisis, Democrats, eedjits, fearmongering, First Amendment, getting a clue, habeas corpus, Harry Reid, NSA eavesdropping, Pelosi | Comments Off on And Now A Message From The ACLU

The Potemkin Presidency

Posted by MEC on July 17, 2007

George W. Bush’s “public” appearances are anything but public. Only guaranteed loyalists are permitted anywhere near him. Applicants for tickets are vetted to exclude proven or potential Democrats. Attendees are removed if the organizers suspect they might not be Bush supporters.

The White House has responded to complaints about these practices by blaming overzealous volunteers, and denying that there’s any official policy to keep non-Republicans out of Bush’s sight. But now we have the evidence that the procedure manual for the “Office of Presidential Advance” includes detailed instructions for violating our First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble and to petition the government.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in abuse of power, ACLU, Constitution, First Amendment, Republicans acting badly | Comments Off on The Potemkin Presidency

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