ACLU Calls on President-elect Obama to Restore America

Affiliate: ACLU of Kansas
November 7, 2008 12:00 am

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In the wake of the presidential election, the ACLU has delivered to President-elect Obama a list of initiatives to implement during his first year in office.

Called Actions for Restoring America, the detailed study has closing the illegal prison at Guantanamo Bay at the top of the list, according to Dan Winter, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Kansas and Western Missouri.

“As President, I will close Guantanamo, reject the Military Commissions Act and adhere to the Geneva Commission,” Obama said on August 1, 2007.

“President Obama can immediately begin repairing the damage to freedom in America after the Bush years,” Winter said. “Closing Gitmo and taking actions to halt torture and extraordinary rendition would be a great first day’s work for the new President.”

A copy of the ACLU’s Actions for Restoring America is at or one can be obtained by calling the ACLU at 816-756-3113.

“It is not going to be easy to undo eight years of sustained damage to our fundamental rights. But it can be done.” said Winter. “It’s a tall order, but Obama has repeatedly denounced the erosion of civil liberties under President Bush. We have faith he can deliver on his promises to keep our country both safe and free.”

The ACLU document outlines how the recent grants of unchecked power to the government and the executive branch by the Bush administration have not actually make us safer. The document is a damning indictment of the rampant government intrusion into the lives of Americans since 9/11, Winter said.

“History shows us that, instead of making us safer, government spying and the discontinuation of established civil rights and practices actually breeds tyranny,” Winter said.

Other actions suggested by the ACLU in its blueprint for the new administration include: a suspension of warrantless wiretapping, a resumption of civil rights enforcement by the Department of Justice, suspension of the Real ID ACT, issuing an executive order banning all workplace discrimination against sexual minorities by the government and its contractors and ending the practice of funding religious groups with government money under the guise of “faith-based initiatives,” among many others.

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