ACLU: The State of Civil Liberties in America is Precarious

January 23, 2007 12:00 am

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Statement of Anthony D. Romero, ACLU Executive Director


WASHINGTON – “As President Bush delivers his State of the Union address, it is essential that we bear in mind that for six years the policies of the Bush administration have threatened and undermined the very essence of a free and democratic America. The state of our civil liberties is precarious.

“The Bush administration’s policies in the “war on terror” have undercut the American Constitution, eroding it and placing its bedrock principles in peril. Previous Congresses consistently turned a blind eye to the administration’s unrelenting attempts to ignore or override civil liberties. Our Constitution and our civil liberties are under attack like never before in history.

“We have listened to President Bush preach the value of building democracies overseas even while here at home his administration – from the White House and through several federal departments and agencies – instituted policies that steadily eroded civil liberties.

“Whether it is eliminating one of the cornerstones of our Constitution, habeas corpus, or denying due process of law, or illegally spying on American citizens or engaging in the un-American and immoral practices of torture and extraordinary rendition, this administration deliberately and with callous disregard for the principles this nation holds dear tore at the very fabric of our Constitution. The 107th, 108th and 109th Congresses willfully allowed the administration a free hand and abdicated their responsibilities to the American people and the Constitution they swore to uphold.

“It is time to end these abuses of power and immediately restore our basic civil liberties so arrogantly abrogated by the Bush administration. We must restore honor and respect to our Constitution and the American principles it embodies. Congress must act immediately to reassure the American people that their country will remain true to its founding principles of freedom, fairness and democracy. This Congress needs to act because, sadly, the damage to our core American values has already been done.”

To read the ACLU’s “The 2007 State of Civil Liberties in America,” go to:

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