Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bill of Rights Newsletter 2011

OMNI BILL OF RIGHTS DAY DECEMBER 15, 2011 NEWSLETTER #3, Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.    (#1 Dec. 15, 2008; #2 Dec. 15, 2009)   

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:


See:  OMNI Human Rights Day December 10 Newsletters, and newsletters on torture, War on Terror, and others; see the Index to OMNI’s newsletters..   .

Contents #1 Dec. 15, 2008
Celebrate December 15
Free Materials
Patriot Act vs. Civil Liberties
Bill of Rights Day 2008 and ACLU
Related Protections of Liberty:
Habeas Corpus
Posse Comitatus vs. Militarism

Contents #2 Dec. 15, 2009
     President’s Proclamation
      ACLU and Civil Liberties
      Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
      For Students
       Several links on Bill of Rights and the Patriot Act

       Contents #3 Dec. 15,  2011
       Assaults on Bill of Rights
         Habeas Corpus
        2011 Patriot Act
        If Homeland Battlefield: End of Bill of Rights
  Fascist Police State?
  Military Detention USA
Defending the Bill of Rights
Jefferson and Madison
4th Amendment Victory
Electronic Privacy
Susan Herman
Tom Engelhardt

FDR: Economic Bill of Rights

61 senators betrayed you today, they authorized the indefinite suspension of habeas corpus .

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Oct 19, 2001 – Attack on the Bill of Rights. by Marty Jezer. The two houses of Congress are now negotiating the details of an anti-terrorism bill that would ...

AND NOW 2011
 Senate Bill: America Is Now Part of the Battlefield
Chris Anders, ACLU , Nov. 26, 2011, RSN
Anders writes: "In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) explained that the bill will 'basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield' and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial 'American citizen or not.' Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) also declared that the bill is needed because 'America is part of the battlefield.'"

America Has Become a Fascist Police State BY Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News, November 26, 2011
"It is no longer extreme to say we now live in a fascist police state. Thanks to the Patriot Act, the SCOTUS' Citizens United decision, and a complacent electorate, our First Amendment rights of free speech and free assembly now only exist on paper. In Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government also censored the press and violently cracked down on peaceful protesters. All that's missing here are the tanks."
READ MORE    http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/275-42/8599-carl-gibson-america-has-become-a-fascist-police-state   [Fascist seems exaggerated, but Herman, Engelhardt, and many other well-argued and supported books describe a “post-legal” USA. D]

Military Detention Versus We the People

by: Shahid Buttar, Truthout | News Analysis
Congress has a deserved reputation for cluelessness. Our leaders have a habit of ignoring real crises like housing, education, mass incarceration, and climate change, while contriving distractions like the budget debate that essentially froze Washington, DC for the past year. 
In 2010, the Tea Party rejected the legitimacy of the DC debate, paving the way for the Occupy movement to do the same in 2011. And while those contrasting movements may compete on many issues, they share in common a rejection of Washington’s political establishment.
On Monday, the Senate will grapple with Congress’ latest bipartisan foolishness, the National Defense Authorization Act. Ironically opposed by both the White House and the Pentagon, it would expand preventive and arbitrary detention beyond Guantánamo Bay and the CIA’s shuttered black sites, importing it into the domestic United States.
The Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and John McCain (R-Arizona), approved the bill despite its provisions for military detention of any suspect (even those apprehended within the United States) accused (not proven) of involvement in any terror-related offense. Presumably, military detention would include those accused of offenses as innocuous as "lying to a federal agent," unrelated to actual terrorism yet classified as terror-related.
The most glaring problem with the committee's legislation is its violation of our nation’s most fundamental values shared across our political spectrum.
First, the committee’s proposal accepts prosecutors as the arbiters of guilt. We have courts in America to check executive power.  Impartial judges limit over whom the state may exercise its coercive power to deny freedom.  We don’t trust prosecutors to make those decisions, because we presume innocence. Being considered "innocent until proven guilty" is a bedrock constitutional norm, a cornerstone in the edifice our Founders constructed to defend freedom from the potential tyranny that Levin & McCain casually invite.
On the one hand, racial and ethnic profiling in the wars on drugs, immigrants, and terror have already shredded the presumption of innocence. Millions of Americans routinely treated as presumptively guilty due to their race or ethnicity have been subjected to illegitimate prison sentences or deportation. But at least those cases involve a judicial process of some kind.
A separate fundamental principle restrains the military from operating domestically. Levin and McCain invite domestic military deployment.
Beyond its blatant violation of fundamental American principles, Levin and McCain also play loose with the system. Their bill passed the Armed Services Committee essentially in secret, without even a single hearing on their radical and seemingly Soviet-inspired proposal.
Moreover, their committee overstepped its jurisdiction, invading the spheres of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who chair those committees, raised their voices in protest--and Senator Mark Udall (D-Utah) introduced an amendment that would reverse Levin-McCain’s detention provisions. Even within a single, insular, tone deaf political party, the left and right hands actively work at cross purposes.
Republican complicity in Sino-Chinese inspired security policies, like the Patriot Act, is by now well established.  The support from some Democrats for this proposal, however, reflects what is wrong with Washington--beyond policy. 
In every election cycle since 1998, the electorate has loudly demanded to "throw the bums out." In 2008, We the People rejected the Bush administration's War on Terror to choose a candidate who, inspired by our Founders, pledged instead to "reject the false choice between liberty and security." Congressional Democrats doubling down on Bush era abuses betray their own supporters. 
We live in a nation where, apparently, we enjoy no electoral alternative to human rights abuses. Will the real Americans please stand up?
Even worse than the betrayal of Democrats, however, is the betrayal of Congress--by itself. Our Founders dedicated the Constitution’s first Article to Congress, to reflect its primacy after our revolution against a unilateral monarchy.  The central theme of the Constitution is its system of checks & balances to limit executive power and prevent tyranny. 
But rather than resist executive power, today’s congressional leaders actively expand it. Over the past decade, Congress has granted presidents from both political parties every power they have sought: the power to eavesdrop en masse on every American household without individualized suspicion, the power to ignore the Nuremberg principle and torture with impunity, the power to initiate unilateral war, and more. 
Levin-McCain is substantively, procedurally, and structurally even worse: It actively outflanks the executive, granting powers that neither the White House nor the Pentagon want, and have even pledged to resist. Madison and Jefferson would each roll in their graves at Congress betrayal of their legacy.
The one positive aspect to Levin-McCain’s essentially Soviet proposal is the hope it offers to inspire unity among Americans. There may yet remain principles, even if merely as meager as the right to trial, on which we all can agree.
Torn between the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street movement and alienated moderates, much of America shares a rejection of Washington's habitual foolishness. And with these competing movements having already organized and mobilized so many diverse Americans, there has been no better time to come together

Coleen Rowley,  “Obama Should Veto Empire Over Republic
CommonDreams, RSN, Dec. 3, 2011
Rowley writes: "When in doubt about a case, what do you think the government will again do? Does it prefer to submit its evidence to a jury's scrutiny and its witnesses to the trouble of being cross-examined in court by a defense attorney or would it be easier to have no questions asked and dump the accused into detainee prison without rights? I think we already know that answer from the nearly ten years of experience at Guantanamo."

Thomas Jefferson and James Madison answered President John Adams' attack on the Bill of Rights with the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions.(1,2) These ...

“A federal judge in Houston has ruled that authorities need a search warrant to obtain cell phone records that can be used to track a person’s movements.”  ADG (11-19-11), “Judge: Warrant Needed for Records.”

Investigating Google/NSA co-operation.


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Oct 8, 2011 - 59 min
Herman asserts that anti-terrorism laws such as the Patriot Act have damaged the lives of many citizens ...

The United States of Fear By Tom Engelhardt
·                                 Globalization & Imperialism
In 2008, when the US National Intelligence Council issued its latest report meant for the administration of newly elected President Barack Obama, it predicted that the planet's "sole superpower" would suffer a modest decline and a soft landing fifteen years hence. In his new book The United States of Fear, Tom Engelhardt makes clear that Americans should don their crash helmets and buckle their seat belts, because the United States is on the path to a major decline at a startling speed. Engelhardt offers a savage anatomy of how successive administrations in Washington took the "Soviet path"—pouring American treasure into the military, war, and national security—and so helped drive their country off the nearest cliff.
This is the startling tale of how fear was profitably shot into the national bloodstream, how the country—gripped by terror fantasies—was locked down, and how a brain-dead Washington elite fiddled (and profited) while America quietly burned.
Think of it as the story of how the Cold War really ended, with the triumphalist "sole superpower" of 1991 heading slowly for the same exit through which the Soviet Union left the stage twenty years earlier.
About the author
Tom Engelhardt created and runs TomDispatch.com, a project of The Nation Institute, where he is a fellow. He is the author of The American Way of War, The End of Victory Culture, and of a novel, The Last Days of Publishing, as well as a collection of his TomDispatch interviews, Mission Unaccomplished.
Praise for Tom Engelhardt's The
American Way
of War

“Tom Engelhardt’s biting look at United States militarism.. [is] pithy... [and] alarming.... He takes on our war-possessed world with clear-eyed, penetrating precision.”
—Mother Jones Online


1.                             Second Bill of Rights - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Second Bill of Rights was a list of rights proposed by Franklin D. Roosevelt, the then President of the United States, during his State of the Union ...
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Bill_of_Rights - Cached - Similar
2.                             Second Bill of Rights - Franklin D. Roosevelt - American Heritage ...
The principles and ideas conveyed by FDR's words matter as much now as they ... “The Economic Bill of Rights”. Excerpt from President Roosevelt's January 11 ...www.fdrheritage.org/bill_of_rights.htm - Cached - Similar
3.                             Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum - Featured ...
FDR's Second Bill of Rights or Economic Bill of Rights Speech ... On January 11, 1944, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his annual State of the ...www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu/archives/stateoftheunion.html - Cached - Similar


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