Archive for July, 2007


Take the pledge

Tuesday, July 31st, 2007

Citing Abuse of Power, MoveOn.org, Human Rights Watch, Center for Constitutional Rights and Others Launch Grassroots Movement to Defend Democracy …”

That’s the headline from a press release issued today by the American Freedom Campaign (AFC), a new grassroots citizens movement whose aim is to make protecting our constitutional rights a priority in the coming election cycle. The group will urge presidential candidates to sign the American Freedom Pledge: “We are Americans, and in our America we do not torture, we do not imprison people without charge or legal remedy, we do not tap people’s phones and emails without a court order, and above all we do not give any President unchecked power.”

The goal of the campaign is to preserve the vision of the nation’s Founders—that no President is above the law.

Here are the campaign’s ten goals:

  • Fully restore the right to challenge the legality of one’s detention, or habeas corpus, and the right of detained suspects to be charged and brought to trial.

  • Prohibit torture and all cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.

  • Prohibit the use of secret evidence.

  • Prohibit the detention of anyone, including U.S. citizens, as an “enemy combatant” outside the battlefield, and on the President’s say-so alone.

  • Prohibit the government from secretly breaking and entering our homes, tapping our phones or email, or seizing our computers without a court order, on the President’s say-so alone.

  • Prohibit the President from “disappearing” anyone and holding them in secret detention.

  • Prohibit the executive from claiming “state secrets” to deny justice to victims of government misdeeds, and from claiming “executive privilege” to obstruct Congressional oversight and an open government.

  • Prohibit the abuse of signing statements, where the President seeks to disregard duly enacted provision of bills.

  • Use the federal courts, or courts-martial, to charge and prosecute terrorism suspects, and close Guantanamo down. Reaffirm that the Espionage Act does not prohibit journalists from reporting on classified national security matters and that they may do so without fear of prosecution.

The campaign was founded by MoveOn.org co-founder Wes Boyd, scientist and social entrepreneur William Haseltine, Fenton Communications CEO David Fenton, and Naomi Wolf, author of the forthcoming The End of America, published by Chelsea Green Publishing.

The campaign’s website can be found here.

Be sure to check it out, sign up and make sure you do your part to impart upon ALL elected officials that is imperative to stand up and protect the Founders’ vision for this country, and to put a stop to the dangerous erosion of constitutional liberties.

It’s no longer good enough to simply sit by and expect that our constitutional rights will be protected—the current administration and its allies in Congress have shown an almost open hostility for civil rights, the Bill of Rights, and the rule of law.

Yes, we’re still here

Monday, July 30th, 2007

To all,

Chelsea Green’s blog — The Flaming Grasshopper — has been on a well-deserved break most of this summer, but the heat is on, it’s time to stretch our legs and sing out.

To start, we’re preparing to update the entire Chelsea Green website and the blog will play a more prominent role in its overall focus and appeal. To that extent, we’ll be adding more features to the site soon and would like to know what features you’d like to see us add. We plan to add video and audio podcasting capability, featured articles by our authors on everything from politics to practical ways to green your life.

In the meantime, Chelsea Green author Naomi Wolf was recently on MSNBC’s Hardball, facing down neocon debutante Melanie Morgan who still believes that it’s perfectly OK to call for the execution of someone in the media for doing their job to uncover government secrets. No wonder conservatives don’t want the fairness doctrine reinstated—but neocons should feel lucky, at least liberals are only asking for impeachment.

Media Matters has a good synopsis of the July 20 show and snippets from the transcript (if you missed it):

http://mediamatters.org/items/200707210001?show=1

We’ll be sure to post more fun reviews, interviews and observations in the coming days and weeks.


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