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ACLU: Actions for restoring America after Bush

 
 
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 07:09 pm

The next president will become chief executive of a nation that has been greatly weakened - in particular, our freedoms, our values, and our international reputation have been greatly undermined by the policies of the past eight years.

Presidents have enormous power not only to set the legislative agenda, but also to establish policy by executive order, federal regulation, or simply by refocusing the efforts and emphases of the executive agencies. The new president must use all of these tools to restore our freedoms and move the country forward.

Doing so will require determined action in the face of inevitable opposition. It will require conveying to the American people why grants of unchecked power do not actually make us safer, and why Americans must stand firm in protecting the values that at our best we have always represented and defended at home and around the world.

It will not be easy to undo eight years of sustained damage to our fundamental rights. But it can be done.

This paper lists many of the actions that the new president should take in order to decisively signal a restoration of American values and a rejection of the shameful policies of the past eight years.

The first year of any new administration is crucial and sets the stage for what will follow. The new President needs to hit the ground running and to make full use of that first crucial year.

We have grouped needed actions into those that the new president should take on day one, in the 100 days and then the first year. Those actions include executive orders as well as mandates or directives from the president to his cabinet secretaries and agency heads.

Part 1 - Day One
Day One: Stop Torture, Close Guantanamo, End Extraordinary Renditions
The next president will have a historic opportunity -- on day one -- to take very important steps to restore the rule of law in the interrogation and detention of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Iraq, Afghanistan, and in secret prisons around the globe. Every action taken pursuant to an executive order of President Bush can be reversed by executive order of the next president.

Therefore, on the first day in office, the next president should issue an executive order directing all agencies to modify their policies and practices immediately to:

Cease and prohibit the use of torture and abuse, without exception, and direct the Attorney General immediately after his or her confirmation to appoint an outside special counsel to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any violations of federal criminal laws prohibiting torture and abuse;
Close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and either charge and try detainees under criminal law in federal criminal courts or before military courts-martial or transfer them to countries where they will not be tortured or detained without charge;
Cease and prohibit the practice of extraordinary rendition, which is the transfer of persons, outside of the judicial process, to other countries, including countries that torture or abuse prisoners.

Stop Torture and Abuse
The next president should issue an executive order, on the first day in office, that orders all agencies to take immediate steps to ensure that torture and abuse is prohibited by the federal government, that no agency may use any practice not authorized by the Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogations, that no president or any other person may order or authorize torture or abuse, that all violations of Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions are prohibited, that all persons being held overseas must be registered with the International Committee of the Red Cross in conformity with Defense Department practices, and that all intelligence interrogations must be video recorded. In addition, the president should order all agencies to comply with requests from Members of Congress for unredacted copies of documents related to the development and implementation of U.S. interrogation policies. The president should also ask the U. S. Attorney General to appoint an outside special counsel to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute any violations of federal criminal laws prohibiting torture and abuse - focusing not just on crimes committed in the field, but also on crimes committed by civilians, of any position, in authorizing or ordering torture or abuse. Finally, the president should order the immediate closure of all secret prisons, and prohibit the CIA and its contractors from detaining anyone.

Close Guantanamo and Restore the Rule of Law for Detainees
On the first day in office, the president should order the shutdown of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and restoration of the rule of law for the detainees now held there. Specifically, the president should order the prompt shutdown of the detention facility, the transfer of any prisoners charged with a crime to a facility within the continental United States for trial in a federal criminal court or before a military court-martial, and the transfer of all uncharged detainees to countries where they will not be abused or imprisoned without charge.

End and Prohibit the Practice of Extraordinary Rendition
The president should order all agencies, on the first day in office, to end and prohibit any rendition or transfer of any person to another country without judicial process. The president should prohibit the rendition or transfer of any person to another country where there is a reasonable possibility the person would be subject to torture or abuse or detained without charge. Any person subject to any transfer shall have a due process right to challenge any transfer before an independent adjudicator, with a right to a judicial appeal.

In each instance, the executive order should by its terms rescind any conflicting previous order - none of which have been made public and remain secret to this day.

Part 2 - First 100 Days http://www.aclu.org/transition/
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H2O MAN
 
  0  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 07:50 pm
@blueflame1,
blueflame1 wrote:

This paper lists many of the actions that the new president should take in order to decisively signal a restoration of American values and a rejection of the shameful policies of the past eight years.


In the immortal words of Joe the Gaff Master: Is this a joke?
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 06:27 am
@H2O MAN,
Restoring habeas corpus and ending torture a joke? To Bushie obviously the Constitution and rule of law are the jokes. Hopefully the new President and new Congress will set the record straight.
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 06:42 am
@blueflame1,
blueflame1 wrote:

Restoring habeas corpus and ending torture a joke?


In a time of war, I want our government to do what it takes to ensure our safety.

Obamie sure as hell can't be trusted to ensure our safety.
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 06:54 am
@H2O MAN,
Yes you would sacrifice freedom for liberty. "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy"... James Madison
Woiyo9
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 06:59 am
They really should change their name to Non American CLU.

"Real ID Act

Background
The Real ID Act of 2005 would turn our state driver's licenses into a genuine national identity card and impose numerous new burdens on taxpayers, citizens, immigrants, and state governments - while doing nothing to protect against terrorism. As a result, it is stirring intense opposition from many groups across the political spectrum. This Web site provides information about opposing Real ID.

Recommendations
The Secretary of Homeland Security should suspend the regulations (73 Fed. Reg. 5272) for the Real ID Act pending congressional review."


0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 07:19 am
@blueflame1,
Tyranny and Oppression will come in the form of Obama.
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 07:29 am
@H2O MAN,
Powell: Close Guantanamo Now, Restore Habeas»
This morning on NBC’s Meet the Press, Gen. Colin Powell strongly condemned the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, calling it “a major problem for America’s perception” and charging, “if it was up to me, I would close Guantanamo " not tomorrow, this afternoon.”

He also called for an end to the military commission system the Bush administration has created to try Guantanamo detainees. “I would simply move them to the United States and put them into our federal legal system,” Powell said. He scoffed at criticism that the detainees would have access to lawyers and the writ of habeas corpus: “So what? Let them. Isn’t that what our system’s all about?”

“[E]very morning I pick up a paper and some authoritarian figure, some person somewhere, is using Guantanamo to hide their own misdeeds,” Powell said. “[W]e have shaken the belief that the world had in America’s justice system by keeping a place like Guantanamo open… We don’t need it, and it’s causing us far more damage than any good we get for it.”

Watch it:
http://thinkprogress.org/2007/06/10/powell-gitmo/
cjhsa
 
  0  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 07:31 am
@blueflame1,
Colin Powell has proven to be an enemy of his own uniform. He reminds me of a poster here on A2K.
0 Replies
 
H2O MAN
 
  0  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 07:34 am
@blueflame1,
And now we know Powell supports Obama's plan of Tyranny and Oppression.
cjhsa
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 07:39 am
@H2O MAN,
And I know the reason why....

http://img.thesun.co.uk/multimedia/archive/00616/colin1_682_616989a.jpg
0 Replies
 
Woiyo9
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 07:42 am
@blueflame1,
The same Colin Powell you criticized about 7 years ago during his legendary speech in the UN?
blueflame1
 
  1  
Reply Tue 28 Oct, 2008 09:07 am
@Woiyo9,
Yes even that war criminal Powell wont go along with this. "Tyranny and the Military Commissions Act"
by Jacob G. Hornberger, Posted June 18, 2007

In Star Wars, Episode 3, in response to the Senate’s grant of sweeping powers to Chancellor Palpatine, Padme declares, “So this is how liberty dies: with thunderous applause.”

The same may be said about the Military Commissions Act (MCA) that was recently enacted by Congress " that this is how freedom ends, with or without the applause.

Despite the fact that the MCA has received just a modicum of publicity from the mainstream press, it is undoubtedly the most ominous and dangerous piece of legislation in our lifetime. By suspending habeas corpus for foreigners, by adopting the executive branch’s “enemy combatant” designation for both Americans and foreigners, and by establishing military tribunals for foreigners, the law not only entails a fundamental reordering of our criminal justice system but also effectively places the U.S. military in control of the American people.


Habeas corpus

Of all the rights and freedoms mentioned and enumerated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the writ of habeas corpus is arguably the most important safeguard of individual freedom. Without the “Great Writ,” none of the other rights and liberties has much value.
http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0702a.asp
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