See also www.aclu.org click on the “Secrecy” link and read updates. To let Congress and their Aides know how serious the violations are to American free speech, go to the spy files www.aclu.org/spyfiles
It’s crucial to get behind Jerry Nadler’s bill, HR 5607, to restore checks and balances to a run-away Executive. This will affect the behavior of future presidents, not merely the current one during what we hope to be his short time left in office.ACLU Commends Senator Feingold for Hearing on Secret Law (4/30/2008)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (202) 675-2312 or email@example.com
Washington, DC – The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded a Senate subcommittee for holding a hearing on the Bush administration’s use of secrecy to institute government policy. During the hearing, entitled "Secret Law and the Threat to Democratic and Accountable Government," the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and its chairman, Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI), heard testimony from legal experts and open government advocates. The hearing focused on the administration’s broad interpretation of the law as it relates to government secrecy and counterterrorism policies
The ACLU noted that the Bush administration’s track record on government secrecy has been dismal at best. Memos from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) outlining legal opinions on torture and wiretapping remain classified despite several congressional calls for disclosure. The administration has also frequently issued executive orders only to amend those policies without publicly acknowledging the changes, removed public documents from the National Archives and created an unusual system of retroactive secrecy by reclassifying previously public information.
In recent years, the ACLU has engaged in a broad effort to uncover information about the Bush administration's torture and surveillance policies. In October 2003, the ACLU filed a FOIA request for records concerning the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody abroad. To date, more than 100,000 pages of government documents have been released in response to the ACLU's FOIA lawsuit enforcing the request – including the 2003 Yoo memo which stated that the president could authorize the torture of prisoners. Many critical documents, however, remain secret. Among the documents that still have not been released are an OLC memo listing interrogation methods for use by the CIA, and a Presidential Directive authorizing the CIA to set up secret detention facilities overseas.
I clearly recall seeing an FBI document on the ACLU’s website which was blacked out by approximately 70% prior to its release to the ACLU. Such is the secrecy in our current government, and such is the dynamic which the ACLU comes up against, everywhere they turn. And it’s good that they are reporting it to us, on their website. Partially and fully blacked-out FBI documents released to the ACLU can be seen here: http://www.aclu.org/safefree/spyfiles/24011res20060131.html
For a shocking, long and detailed list of who the ACLU’s clients are in spy cases, check this out (they’re all peaceful entities such as animal rights activists, and even the National Lawyers Guild and the ACLU of Northern California is on the client list):
That the National Lawyers Guild appears on this spy list, along with the ACLU of Northern California, illustrates the point all too clearly that free speech itself is under attack, not merely activists and those other “kooks” in our society. After all, if constitutional attorneys are being spied on because they represent American freedom, then freedom itself is being targeted.
No more clear case can be illustrated to underscore this free speech targeting than the following report by FBI agent Mike German, now counsel to the ACLU. This is a brand new report of expanded spying missions in the Fusion Centers, now conducted by “trusted” Citizens (who took FBI files and materials affecting national security to their own homes where they were accidentally discovered by the FBI). That citizens and FBI and police alike are spying on citizens based on the following criteria (see the report linked below) speaks miles about the purpose of the spying mission, and that it has nothing to do with terrorism:
Taking photos “of no aesthetic value” (i.e., documentary photos are forbidden, especially of police misconduct)
Ethnicity and skin color used to determine risk factor
Much more…see report. People were actually arrested for taking photos, and more.