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Civil Liberties

Obama, the military and the threat of dictatorship

by Bill Van Auken
World Socialist Web Site

With his choice of Admiral Dennis Blair as director of national intelligence, President-elect Barack Obama has now named three recently retired four-star military officers to serve in his cabinet. This unprecedented representation of the senior officer corps within the incoming Democratic administration is indicative of a growth in the political power of the US military that poses a serious threat to basic democratic rights.

As head of the US military’s Pacific command in 1999-2000, Blair was distinguished by his efforts to solidarize the Pentagon with the military of Indonesia as it carried out butchery in East Timor, effectively vetoing the half-hearted human rights concerns voiced by the Clinton administration.…

Career Army officer sues Rumsfeld, Cheney, saying no evacuation order given on 9/11

Stephen C. Webster
RawStory.com

A career Army officer who survived the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, claims that no evacuation was ordered inside the Pentagon, despite flight controllers calling in warnings of approaching hijacked aircraft nearly 20 minutes before the building was struck.

According to a time-line of the attacks, the Federal Aviation Administration notified NORAD that American Airlines Flight 77 had been hijacked at 9:24 a.m. The Pentagon was not struck until 9:43 a.m.

On behalf of retired Army officer April Gallop, California attorney William Veale has filed a civil suit against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and former US Air Force General Richard Myers, who was acting chairman of the joint chiefs on 9/11.…

Court Rules Patriot Act’s ‘National Security Letter’ Gag Provisions Unconstitutional

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Court Rules Patriot Act’s “National Security Letter” Gag Provisions Unconstitutional (12/15/2008)

ACLU Hails Victory In Challenge To Government’s Power To Silence NSL Recipients

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK — A federal appeals court today upheld, in part, a decision striking down provisions of the Patriot Act that prevent national security letter (NSL) recipients from speaking out about the secret records demands. The decision comes in an American Civil Liberties Union and New York Civil Liberties Union lawsuit 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.…

What Does Letting Our Own War Criminals Go Free Tell Us About Ourselves?

by Nat Hentoff
December 10, 2008
Village Voice

Since I live in the Village, my Congressman is Jerrold Nadler, a civil libertarian for all seasons. Unlike many of his Democratic colleagues, he has never been in fear of being targeted as “soft on terrorism” for opposing the Bush-Cheney war on the Bill of Rights. Nadler certainly does not  underestimate the jihadists: The 9/11 attacks exploded in his district.

In The Almanac of American Politics, Michael Barone describes Nadler’s reaction to that day of terror: Securing “$20 billion for the cleanup and eventual rebuilding, he spearheaded numerous actions on behalf of affected families .…

9/11 Victims’ Families Challenge Legitimacy Of Guantánamo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT:
(212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org
December 10, 2008

NEW YORK — The American Civil Liberties Union today released a statement from 31 9/11 victims’ family members challenging the legitimacy of the Guantánamo military commissions and their ability to achieve justice.

Below is the full text of the statement:

9/11 FAMILY MEMBERS CHALLENGE LEGITIMACY OF GUANTÁNAMO MILITARY COMMISSIONS

As family members who lost loved ones on 9/11, we feel compelled to speak out about this week’s proceedings at Guantánamo.…

Bush Spy Revelations Anticipated When Obama Is Sworn In

Privacy Advocates Expect Whistleblowers to Share Warrantless Wiretap Info After
Inauguration Day

By RYAN SINGEL
Nov. 11, 2008

When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20, Americans won’t just
get a new president; they might finally learn the full extent of George W. Bush’s
warrantless domestic wiretapping.

Since The New York Times first revealed in 2005 that the NSA was eavesdropping
on citizens’ overseas phone calls and e-mail, few additional details about the
massive "Terrorist Surveillance Program" have emerged.…

Libertarian Party UK ‘1984’ campaign

++++ PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ++++

November 4th 2008

A COPY OF ORWELL’S ‘NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR’ SENT TO EVERY MP

An Internet grass-roots campaign will this week deliver a copy of George Orwell’s prophetic novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ to every Member of  Parliament.

The books will be inscribed with the words, ‘This book was a warning, not a blueprint’, and will arrive at Parliament on or before November 5th — a date of well known historical significance for that building.…

Does (did) the First Amendment apply to ALL of Us? Apparently, Not Iraq War Veterans… IVAW Member Attacked by Police

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 16, 2008 CONTACT: Jason Lemieux, jasonlemieux@ivaw.org, 760-409-9403 or Kristofer Goldsmith, kgoldy1985@gmail.com, 516-457-1260

Iraq War Veterans Arrested While Attempting to Deliver Questions to Obama and McCain

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — One hour before the final presidential debate of the 2008 campaign, fourteen members of Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) marched in formation to Hofstra University to present questions to the candidates. IVAW had requested permission from debate moderator Bob Schieffer to ask their questions during the debate, but received no response.…

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The Declaration of Independence & Our Bill of Rights

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.…

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ABC News Exclusive: Inside Account of U.S. Eavesdropping on Americans

U.S. Officers’ “Phone Sex” Intercepted; Senate Demanding Answers By Brian Ross, Vic Walter and Anna Schecter

Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.

The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), called the allegations “extremely disturbing” and said the committee has begun its own examination.…

New, controversial FBI guidelines go into effect – ACLU Condemns

Guidelines Released Amid Protest from Congress, Privacy Groups and American Public

Don't Spy on Me logoFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — 10/3/2008
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312 or media@dcaclu.org
(212) 519-7829 or 549-2666 or media@aclu.org

Washington, DC — New FBI guidelines governing investigations were released today after being signed by Attorney General Michael Mukasey. The American Civil Liberties Union quickly blasted the Department of Justice and FBI for ignoring calls for more stringent protections of Americans’ rights. The guidelines replace existing bureau guidelines for five types of investigations: general criminal, national security, foreign intelligence, civil disorders and demonstrations.…

TAKE ACTION against Political Repression at the DNC and the RNC!

Elaine Brower and Prachi Noor, members of the World Can’t Wait National Steering Committee:

Image of protestor prostrate with police officer kneeling on his neck The police repression of anti-war protest that took place at both national political conventions deeply angered members of the peace community, as well as the many people in this country who were shocked at the behavior of law enforcement. There are those who might believe this brutalization of those who were peacefully demonstrating, with permits issued by the City, and which people believe is their ‘right’ under the Constitution, was an aberration or “over-reaction.”

However, what we saw was an emerging police state further testing new weapons and tactics, and learning how much they can get away with.…

Twenty-Six Things We Now Know Seven Years After 9/11

By Bernard Weiner
Co-Editor, The Crisis Papers

Each year around the anniversary of 9/11, I summarize what we ordinary citizens have learned since that awful day in 2001. This is the seventh annual look backwards, a 2008 update that contains new information and surmisings about those horrific events and what followed.

1. One 9/11 Size Fits All. What we now more fully understand is how the CheneyBush Administration utilized the murderous terrorism of 9/11 as the linchpin justification for their unfolding domestic and foreign agenda, much of it illegal, immoral and impeachable.…

RNC Planners Sued By Impeachment Group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

St. Paul, Minnesota — August 12, 2008 — Impeach for Peace (IfP), along with others looking to demonstrate at the Republican National Convention (RNC), filed a lawsuit Friday with the help of the ACLU of Minnesota in Ramsey County District Court demanding our right to free speech. Plaintiffs include: Jodin Morey and Mikael Rudolph of Impeach for Peace, Colleen and Ross Rowley, and Ron Deharporte.

Impeach for Peace is a grassroots, nonpartisan organization based in Minnesota with chapters in twelve states throughout the country working to achieve the impeachment of President George W.…

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Senate Passes Unconstitutional Spying Bill And Grants Sweeping Immunity To Phone Companies

ACLU Announces Legal Challenge To Follow President’s Signature

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312, media@dcaclu.org or
(212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

WASHINGTON – Today, in a blatant assault upon civil liberties and the right to privacy, the Senate passed an unconstitutional domestic spying bill that violates the Fourth Amendment and eliminates any meaningful role for judicial oversight of government surveillance. The FISA Amendments Act of 2008 was approved by a vote of 69 to 28 and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush shortly.…

Veteran Wages War Against Pentagon Over Mandatory Anthrax Vaccine

By Thomas D. Williams
The Public Record
May 26, 2008

US Air Force Reserve Maj. Thomas “Buzz” Rempfer, a 43-year-old Connecticut native, is hoping he is nearing the end of nearly a decade’s perpetual and unprecedented battle with the Pentagon over the legality, safety and effectiveness of mandatory anthrax vaccinations.

His and others’ efforts have already netted favorable federal court rulings. They invalidated the original Department of Defense mandate and the vaccine’s initial licensing.

Now Rempfer, formerly of West Suffield, Connecticut, and now of Tucson, Arizona, awaits a ruling from the Air Force Board for Correction of Military Records.…

Roots of surveillance standoff go back decades

By Shane Harris, National Journal

In the old days, everyone was linked to a lug nut, and Jim Kallstrom liked it that way.

It was 1985, a simpler time for a cop like Kallstrom, who was in charge of setting telephone wiretaps on suspected drug dealers and mobsters for the FBI’s New York City field office.

In New York, Kallstrom’s cases were often won on the basis of incriminating evidence surreptitiously snatched from the mouths of criminal defendants through their phone lines.…

The Last Roundup

For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?

By Christopher Ketcham

Editor’s Note:
This is an incredibly important article–one of the most important we’ve posted. It’s long, thorough, historical, and frightening… Several links for other, related reading are at the end. Please follow-up with your Representatives and other elected officials immediately, and let us know what you her.…