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vastleft's picture

E-mail from the ACLU:

Dear ACLU Supporter,

Today is an extraordinary day for civil liberties and our country. And we should all pat ourselves on the back for helping make this moment happen.

Just 48 hours into his presidency, Barack Obama took decisive action on civil liberties -- issuing four executive orders that set a new path towards an America we can be proud of.

All those petitions you've signed, actions you've taken and contributions you've made are paying off in dramatic fashion. Because -- make no mistake -- President Obama's decisive acts of leadership wouldn't be possible without you and other ACLU supporters laying the groundwork.

You refused to listen to those who said the ACLU was being idealistic, unrealistic and even crazy to expect a new President to act this quickly. And by acting on your convictions, you have helped make this a remarkable day for the Constitution and the rule of law.

Thank President Obama for acting so quickly -- and urge him to keep moving forward.

With four executive orders today, our new President:

  • Ordered Guantánamo Bay shut down
  • Banned torture
  • Ordered a full review of U.S. detention policies and procedures, and
  • Delayed the trial of Ali al-Marri, an ACLU client whose case is at the center of the Supreme Court's review of indefinite detention policies.

We're seeing -- right before our eyes -- what it means to have a President who respects the Constitution and honors the rule of law. Please sign our "Thank You for Acting" message to President Obama -- not simply because he has earned our gratitude, but because he will need our ongoing support if we want him to follow through on crucial civil liberties and human rights priorities.

This isn't just about sending a message of thanks to Obama. It's about sending a message to anyone who dares to stand in our way as we act to restore the Constitution and reclaim America's reputation.

Thank President Obama for acting so quickly -- and urge him to keep moving forward.

In the last 24 hours, more than 30,000 ACLU supporters have already signed our "Thank You for Acting" message to the President. Count yourself among them. Please act right now.

Sincerely,

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
ACLU

Kudos to ACLU for reiterating this: "Thank President Obama for acting so quickly -- and urge him to keep moving forward." Just patting oneself on the back and then lying back and hoping may not prove rewarding in the long run.

For one thing, these new orders shouldn't be taken at face value. As Glenn notes there are "important caveats and reservations" when one looks at the details. It's hard to type up those details if the self-patting persists too long.

Let's appreciate progress when it happens and demand it when it doesn't. Hope, but verify.

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Submitted by lambert on

The letter I wrote, revising theirs:

Thank you for the initial steps you've taken to restore Constituttional government and the rule of law -- your four executive orders to close Guantánamo, end the military commissions, ban torture and delay the al-Marri trial.

I promise you my support as you continue to take actions to renew American justice and look forward to your next steps. May I suggest two:

1. Restore the Fourth Amendment by ending the executive branch's ability to surveil Americans electronically without a warrant under the "reformed" FISA act.

2. Establish a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, so that the crimes of the Bush administration can be exposed to the light, and the perpetrators held accountable.

P.S. And please, don't simply transfer the Gitmo prisoners to new prisons at Stare Kiejkuty or elsewhere. End the Bush administration's practices completely and forever.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Submitted by lambert on

covers a multitude.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

Up to their old tricks trying to shape reality.

According to Karen Tumulty (Time), Ted Kennedy and "his circle" are furious that CK is said to have withdrawn because of his health. She didn't say that and that wasn't she meant, but the media decided that's exactly what her personal reasons were. Kennedy thinks it will undermine his work, especially on healthcare, as people will get the impression he's on death's door.

Instead, it looks like Paterson had made his choice (a Blue Dog dem, eeek!) and Caroline was never really a serious contender. She definitely wasn't ready for prime time.

Too many cacophonous vultures frantically feeding on scraps of gossip while ignoring the inconvenient truths of substantive issues.

Whores. (with apologies to the ladies of the night)

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

I'm skeptical of this latest -- what is it, version 6? 7? -- of how Caroline isn't getting the job. Time's not any better than the rest at putting out fact-checked, unspun tales. Everyone's quoting anonymous sources, as usual.

I'd bet Teddy's collapse during Inaug. festivities goes a lot further in giving the death's door impression, because not many bought that Caroline would really drop out on account of Ted's health anyway.

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

I just watched the lead-in and introduction of Kirsten Gillibrand as the interim senator from New York. Some in the media were whining about the choice of this "relative unknown." I think they were pissed that they were completely left out of the loop this time. Too bad.

Gillibrand gave a very nice little speech which included a lovely tribute to Hillary Clinton. She talked of the influence she's had on her and all women across the world and recalled Hillary's 1995 Beijing speech in which she said: ...human rights are women's rights - and women's rights are human rights.

Yes, she's a Blue Dog, a dem in a very republican area of the state, but there's hope for her. We'll see how she does. Good luck.

Submitted by jawbone on

did not read or respond to my plea for an unabashed liberal appointee.

She did offer a "pay as you go," zero Federal deficit spending bill when she first entered the House. Like she didn't understand that the Feds are the borrower of last resort when there's no other option? Take that away and, well, wow, we would have some dizzying plunges in the economy and very few safety nets for anyone out of the uberwealthy economic level.

Perhaps she was just doing that for consumption in her largely Repub district. Time will tell.

She did, apparently, decide overnight that she supports gay marriage, which is cool. May not help with a general election, but cool!

Aeryl's picture
Submitted by Aeryl on

On her stance against same sex marriage, and she is strong on woman's rights. Not as great as the powerhouse she is replacing, but a step in the right direction.

He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave.
- Sir William Drummond

Valhalla's picture
Submitted by Valhalla on

even the mind of a 'journalist'.

Gillibrand has been mentioned since before CK's name came up, and there's plenty of background out there about her.

They were similarly affronted when Palin was picked, even though her name had been in circulation since spring and all the 'scandals' that were later 'discovered' about her were right on the Palin wikipedia page since spring as well.

Because the problem is not that we have too little condescension from our tribe. -- okanogen

Submitted by jawbone on

Per post by Greg Sargent at his new blog, The Plum Line (beta) on WaPo site called Who Runs Gov. (That must be a story in itself!)

The Plum Line, Greg Sargent's blog
Feinstein Moves To Close That “Loophole” On Torture

As I noted here yesterday, human rights advocates think that the executive order outlawing torture that President Obama signed yesterday preserves some wiggle room, because it also appoints a task force to determine whether the techniques outlined in the Army Field Manual are appropriate to the task of keeping the nation safe.

Well, it turns out that others have reached this conclusion, too. The ranking Democratic Senator on the intel committee is now working on ways to stitch up this apparent loophole:

Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and chairwoman of the committee, said that despite the executive orders she still planned to press for legislation mandating a single standard for military and C.I.A. interrogators. Such a law would be harder to reverse than Mr. Obama’s executive order, which he could alter or cancel at any time by issuing a new order.

“I think that ultimately the government is well served by codifying it, by having it in law,” Mrs. Feinstein said.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Obama administration reacts to such legislation, should it gain steam.

In another move suggesting the possibility of wiggle room here, Obama’s choice for Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair, yesterday told Senators that he believed some interrogation techniques should stay secret so possible foes can’t prepare themselves for them.

Sargent says he will continue digging into this.

Sen. DiFi--hhmmmm. Via commenter at the Digby link.

If you're curious about how/why Greg left TPM, I googled for some articles on the move to WaPo. Since Horse's Mouth seemed to have gone dark during the primaries when TPM went all Obama all the time, perhaps that is one reason..?

Now, if only the WaPo will give Froomkin a URL with his name in it--something easier to remember than those numbers....

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

I started using that on November 10, 2008.

I googled it and found I wasn't the first to use it, so you might want to credit an earlier "coiner" if you can figure out who got there first.

I saw that Rick Perlstein had just said it, as well, so I linked to him, but I'm not sure if he's the first, either.

Submitted by lambert on

Go forth and propagate this meme! Yes, some actual work does get done around here....

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi