Friday, March 27, 2015


 Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.
(#1 October 5, 2011; #2 Jan. 30, 2012; #3 July 29, 2012; #4 March 15, 2013)

What’s at stake:  From police brutality and botched executions to voter suppression and election corruption, 2014 was a terrible year for civil liberties in the United States.  Lithwick and Stern.

This newsletter now includes the newsletter on indefinite detention and solitary confinement.  For significantly more on due process, see newsletters on NSA, whose mass surveillance without warrants has dismantled the Fourth Amendment.
Civil Liberties Indefinite Detention Newsletter #1:
Indefinite Detention Newsletter #2:
Indefinite Detention and Solitary Confinement Newsletter #3:

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:   Here is the link to the Index:


Contents Civil Liberties/Human Rights Newsletter #1-4 at end

Contents: Civil Liberties/Human Rights Newsletter #5
Violations of Civil Liberties
10 Worst in 2014
(and Resistance) Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) March 2015 Newsletter

ACLU’S New Magazine, Stand
ACLU AND Citizens United

Bill of Rights Defense Committee (BORDC)
Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Video
Mazzetti, CIA Secret Detention and Interrogation Challenged in Congress, Block Renewal of Despotic Patriot Act Provisions

What’s omitted?  Increasing attacks on civil liberties and human rights caused by climate change (think Katrina):  see OMNI’s climate change newsletters.

Recent OMNI Newsletters


DEC. 29 2014 1:32 PM
The 10 Worst Civil Liberties Violations of 2014
It’s been an exceptionally awful year. 
Hobby Lobby, Ferguson, MO.Trust between police and citizens fell precipitously in 2014.
Photo illustration by Slate. Photos by Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call; Scott Olson/Getty Images; Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
The world may not actually be falling apart—but it feels like America is [The authors should get informed about climate change: read Naomi Kline’s This Changes Everything.  –Dick]. From police brutality and botched executions to voter suppression and election corruption, 2014 was a terrible year for civil liberties in the United States. Protests were quelled by military-grade weapons in scenes worthy of a banana republic, and the divide between the rich and the poor in the freedom and justice they are afforded is Dickensian in its scope. While the country has evolved on marriage equality, it often appears to be backtracking on just about every other advance we have made, from the racial and gender progress of the 1960s to the most basic principles of the criminal justice system. Below, we’ve listed the top 10 civil liberties nightmares of 2014 in no particular order. Here’s hoping this list is harder to put together next year.
10. The Supreme Court adds more sectarian religion to our lives.
In Town of Greece v. Galloway, the Supreme Court’s five conservatives ruled that legislative sessions in town council meetings can open with explicitly sectarian prayers. Almost immediately, town boards began inviting Christians to speak at their meetings while excluding speakers of minority faiths (and, naturally,atheists). In short order the Galloway majority’s gauzy vision of pluralistic civic tolerance began to look a lot more like a governmental endorsement of Christianity at the expense of minority religions. Increasingly, to the conservatives of the Roberts court, “religious liberty” means the freedom of religious majorities to push their religious beliefs on the rest of us. Speaking of which …

9. The Supreme Court invites our corporate bosses to takes away our birth control.
In the court’s Hobby Lobby decision, the same five conservatives ruledthat “closely held corporations” had a religious right to deny female employees certain forms of birth control, if those employers believe the device or method causes abortions. It matters not at all whether the device or method in fact causes abortions. Writing for the court, Justice Samuel Alito downplayed the notion that women’s health and autonomy are “compelling interests,” leaving female employees’ intensely private health care choices at the mercy of their bosses. Alito reasoned that employees could rely on the government’s birth control accommodation granted to religious hospitals and colleges —then the court immediately suggested that the accommodation might be against the law, too.
8. Secrecy and botched executions.
In January the state of Oklahoma executed Michael Lee Wilson using a secret chemical cocktail. Twenty seconds after the injection of the drugs—which Oklahoma claimed would ensure a painless death—Wilson said, “I can feel my whole body burning.” Three months later, Oklahoma executed Clayton Lockett with another secret drug cocktail; the procedure turned into a brutal torture session after the drugs left Lockett “writhing and bucking” on the gurney. In July the state of Arizona executed Joseph R. Wood III using a protocol of secret drugs. The procedure took two excruciating hours during which, according to witnesses, Wood gasped and snorted. Arizona officials insisted that Wood hadn’t suffered—then added that if he had, he would’ve deserved it.
We are killing people in America, and we are doing so in a fashion that is ever more brutal, secretive, and flawed. Last week the 325th person to be exonerated by DNA evidence was cleared of a rape for which he served nearly 31 years. The only thing certain about our current capital punishment system is that hiding its flaws, errors, and biases, doesn’t make them go away.
7. The great torture shrug.
In December the Senate Intelligence Committee released a declassified summary of a historic and long-awaited comprehensive report on the use oftorture techniques implemented during the George W. Bush administration, including “rectal feeding,” waterboarding, confinement in small spaces, and shackling in stress positions. In hundreds of partly redacted pages, the report concluded that the CIA “enhanced interrogation” practices were ineffective and failed to provide unique or actionable information, and that the CIA systematically misled the White House, Congress, and the public about the torture methods and program for years. The report also revealed that the CIA’s tactics went beyond the generous legal terms laid out in Justice Department legal memos. The study, based on examination of more than 6 million internal CIA documents, concluded that the U.S. government engaged in what clearly amounts to torture practices and lied about it.
Nobody will be held to account. Nobody will be prosecuted. And the release of the report led to another shameful round of debates by public intellectuals willing to defend state-sanctioned violence against prisoners because it worked for Jack Bauer.
6. Voting rights.
In 2013 the Supreme Court gutted a key section of the federal Voting Rights Act. As a direct result of that decision, states with a history of suppressing voting rights, which had previously been required to seek “preclearance” before implementing new voting rules, were freed up to create voting requirements that made it harder for certain groups to vote. In the wake of the Shelby County v. Holder decision—in some cases, just hours later—states raced to impose new rules that would disproportionately burden the elderly, the young, the poor, and minorities. Last November we witnessed the fruits of those efforts: People in Texas were faced with new voting restrictions, as were those in Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and others. The Supreme Court batted back some of these new voting restrictions if they were apt to cause chaos just before an election and allowed others to stand. But this whole raft of efforts to “protect the integrity of the vote” is and has always been nothing more than a fig leaf. Federal appeals court Judge Richard Posner, assessing an array of such laws,called them precisely what they are, “a means of voter suppression, rather than of fraud prevention.”
What was the impact of these newest efforts to fiddle with voting rights in the November election? The preliminary data show that felon disenfranchisement, voter ID laws, and ending same-day registration had some impact on the 2014 elections. This is to be expected. It is, after all, the whole point.
5. Money in elections.
In 2014 the Supreme Court handed down another campaign finance decision,McCutcheon v. FEC, striking down the aggregate limits that Americans may contribute. (The cap had been $123,200, or twice the median family income, to all federal candidates, parties, and PACs combined, not including super PACs.) Once the very, very, very richest among us were liberated to donate as much as they wished, the spending around the 2014 elections predictably bubbled overwith McCutcheon money. As the Washington Post reported, “More than 300 donors have seized the opportunity, writing checks at such a furious pace that they have exceeded the old limit of $123,200 for this election cycle, according to campaign finance data provided by the Center for Responsive Politics.” Election spending in general made all kinds of news in 2014, including on statejudicial races, which have become some of the ugliest, spendiest battlegrounds going. But McCutcheon isn’t important simply because it put some more big money into political races; it’s also a signal that the Supreme Court plans to finish what it started with Citizens United v. FEC—give the wealthy unlimited power in the name of free speech—and that there are five votes to do so. Don’t worry. Your vote still counts. It just counts a little bit less with every election.
4. The Ferguson protest crackdown.
After Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson killed unarmed 18-year-old Mike Brown in August, residents took to the streets to protest the killing and a long-standing pattern of police mistreatment. They were met with a militarized police force that used tear gas, sound cannons, smoke grenades, armored vehicles, and assault weapons to shut down the protests. A federal judge later ruled that the officers’ stunningly aggressive tactics violated the protesters’ freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and due process rights. But images of officers illegally arresting journalists, training assault rifles on civilians, and gassing law-abiding demonstrators remain seared into Americans’ minds. This is how we are policed when we protest now. Our constitutional rights to speak and assemble don’t seem so inviolable when the police can break up rallies with armored cars and assault weapons. But wait, how did the police manage to finance military-grade equipment to quell civil disobedience? Glad you asked …
3. Civil forfeiture.
One of the shocking lessons of the events in Ferguson was the revelation that its local police department was financing itself—and in this case, its weapons purchases—with money wrested from people under civil forfeiture laws. These laws were developed to squeeze drug lords and mob bosses, but they are now used by thousands of police departments and drug task forces across the country to take cash and property, often from the poorest Americans, without proving any crime has occurredThe Washington Post found that police departments have used their massive civil forfeiture slush funds to purchase G.I. Joe toys including “Humvees, automatic weapons, gas grenades, night-vision scopes, and sniper gear” as well as “electronic surveillance equipment, including automated license-plate readers and systems that track cellphones.”
Civil forfeiture isn’t the only form of harassment facing people in poor communities. Americans were horrified this summer when they learned that in 2013, the city of Ferguson, a city of just 21,135 people, issued 32,975 arrest warrants for nonviolent offenses, most of which were trivial driving violations. The town was charging exorbitant court fines and fees for these nonviolent offenses, then arresting anyone who couldn’t pay. NPR produced a brutal seriesthis year showing that the poor are being pressed into financing the very system that prosecutes and incarcerates them. Welcome to the return of the debtors’ prison.
2. Abortion clinic closures.
Roe v. Wade is still good law in America. Abortion is still legal. And yet throughout the country, abortion clinics are being shuttered at record rates. According tothis report from Bloomberg last month, the rate of clinic closures is unprecedented. Since 2011, legislative reforms, protests, and a series of onerous and costly new regulations have ensured that more clinics than ever are closing their doors. One in 10 clinics have shut or stopped providing the procedure since 2011. Four states, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming, have only a single clinic now in operation.
The best test case for what’s happened nationwide unspooled itself in Texas this year. A sweeping package of abortion regulations put into effect draconian building codes and requirements that physicians obtain admitting privileges at local hospitals. The law led 19 facilities to stop performing abortions, leaving only 22 in the state. The Supreme Court ordered Texas to stay some of those requirements pending a full hearing. One federal judge on the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which approved the regulations, said driving hundreds of miles across the state to procure an abortion wasn’t that bad on a flat Texas highway at 75 miles per hour, and assumed that the prospect of perhaps one-sixth of Texas women having their abortion rights burdened did not represent a sufficiently large fraction to be constitutionally fussed about. 
1. Grand juries reviewing police misconduct.
2014 has been a terrible year for relations between cops and citizens. A spiral of mistrust has led to a spiral of brutality and violence that exploded with the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Akai Gurley, and John Crawford, among others. Then Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two Brooklyn police officers, claiming he was acting in the name of those who had been killed by police. This deplorable, appalling act of alleged retribution sparked a new wave of recriminations and accusations.
One fundamental problem with the criminal justice system that came to light this fall illuminates the reason there is such distrust between police and communities of color: We should not continue to use the grand jury system to hold police to account. One of the lessons of the Brown and Garner grand juries is that while grand juries will famously indict anyone up to and including a ham sandwich, they virtually never do so when a police officer is before them. As the Christian Science Monitor reports, “U.S. police officers kill approximately 1,000 citizens per year in the line of duty. On average, four officers are indicted for causing gun-related deaths on duty every year, according to a study by Bowling Green State University in Ohio. In one sample, grand juries in Harris County, Texas, haven’t indicted a police officer in a decade. Grand juries in Dallas looked at 81 possible cases of police criminality between 2008 and 2012, but handed down only one indictment, according to the Houston Chronicle.” There are many reasons for this: Grand jurors tend to trust cops; the prosecutors are in complete control of the proceedings; and prosecutors have every incentive to go easy on the police officers with whom they work. With grand jury proceedings taking place in secret, all of these incentives are compounded and mistrust is exacerbated.
Reforming the way we assess police shootings in the criminal justice system will not cure the extreme mistrust that now exists in America. But it will be a step toward assuring citizens that the system is not rigged to protect the powerful—which is certainly how it looks in the waning days of 2014.
Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate
Mark Joseph Stern is a writer for Slate. He covers science, the law, and LGBTQ issues.

Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) March 2015 Newsletter

Center for Constitutional Rights via 
8:01 AM (1 hour ago)

to James

Frontlines of Justice
Center for Constitutional Rights Weekly Newsletter
In This Issue:

Inspired and humbled by our clients
Thanks to “Waiting for Fahd: One Family’s Hope for Life beyond Guantánamo,” you know something about CCR client Fahd Ghazy, detained at Guantánamo since he was 17, never charged, twice cleared for release, waiting to be reunited with his teenage daughter whom he last saw as a baby. But today we want to tell you about some of the other men held illegally and unjustly in Guantánamo. Omar Farah and Aliya Hussain spent last week at the detention facility and, in addition to Fahd, met with our clients Tariq Ba OdahMohammed Al Hamiri andGhaleb Al Bihani. Like Fahd, they are all from Yemen, all cleared for release – and yet still not free. Aliya and Omar gave a live report back on their visits from Guantánamo on Thursday;you can watch it here.

Tariq has protested his unjust detention with the only means available, his very body. He has been on a hunger strike for eight years. Tariq has not eaten since President Obama was Senator Obama, and the question for the president is, Will he finally exercise his power and release this extraordinary man before he is former President Obama? The strength of Tariq’s spirit is almost incomprehensible, and the damage to his body and the cruelty he must endure every day is equally unimaginable. He has been on an unbroken hunger strike for eight years, longer than President Obama has been in office. Each day, he is forcibly extracted from his cell, strapped to a chair, and force fed through his nose, but as Omar and Aliya saw in their meeting, he continues to have a sense of humor, compassion and gratitude to all those who have shown him solidarity.  Mohammed is a poetic thinker and writer, defiantly good-spirited. We’ve long been inspired by his words from a few years ago – "We keep walking through the tunnel in search of a shred of light hoping it would appear at the end of that tunnel... and for every couple of steps we make, this strong air pushes us one step backward, as if it is stealing one step from us. Yet we keep walking forward” – and last month we shared his agony when he said, simply, “I want to be released. I want to see my mom." Ghaleb, despite his own harsh confinement, thinks of others; he identifies with the disenfranchised and downtrodden in the U.S., expressing compassion at their suffering, and he has a keen awareness of the hypocrisy of U.S. human rights ideals. That these men are locked in cages while politicians play games with their lives, feeding fear and prejudice for their own cheap political game, is an utter outrage. Last week, President Obama publicly expressed his regret at not closing Guantánamo on his first day of office. No one regrets that misstep more than our clients, but Obama still has the power to right that wrong and end the suffering of these men and others today.

Pardiss Kebriaei speaks on Democracy Now! about the Khantumanis.
Take action to reunite the Khantumanis
The injustices of Guantánamo do not always end when men are finally released. Last week we told you about Pardiss Kebriaei’s moving essay in Harper’s about the extraordinary story of our clients Abdul Nasser Khantumani and his son Muhammed, both held for many years at Guantánamo without charge, now free but not allowed to see each other. Please take a moment to add your name to our petition and help bring the Khantumani family together again. The Harper’s issue is nowavailable on newsstands. For the price of two cups of Starbucks coffee, you can also buy it online. It’s an incredible read, well worth the $6.99 (hard copy or online).

Aref v. Holder plaintiff Kifah Jayyousi and his daughter Sara.A setback in CMU prison case
The judge in our case challenging the policies and conditions of the Communications Management Units (CMUs) ruled last week in favor of the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP). Prisoners in CMUs are barred from any physical contact with their visitors and have severe limitations on phone calls as well as work and educational opportunities. Moreover, while the regulations about CMU placement are murky, the intended target is clear: 6 percent of the federal prison population is Muslim, but 60 percent of those held in CMUs are Muslim. Many of the remaining prisoners have unpopular political views, including environmental activists designated as “ecoterrorists.” Despite the stress of the punishing communications restrictions and the agony of not being allowed to even hug a family member, however, the court rejected CCR’s claim that CMU prisoners have been deprived of their right to due process. It did not even consider the extensive evidence we presented demonstrating the broken designation and review procedures that have plagued the CMUs since they were first opened. Instead, the court ruled that the CMUs are not sufficiently unusual, harsh or restrictive to even trigger due process rights.

While this is a disheartening setback in the district court, the pressure and scrutiny that Aref v. Holder brought to bear on the BOP have resulted in some significant reforms already. For years, there was no review process in place to allow for transfer out of the CMUs. Now, even though the procedures are flawed, prisoners are regularly reviewed for release from the CMUs – and many prisoners have been released. When we filed this case in 2010, not a single prisoner had ever been released from a CMU. The BOP opened the CMUs without publishing regulations governing conditions and procedures at the units. After intense pressure, the BOP finally published a rule that explains what the CMUs are, and who is eligible for CMU placement. Though the rule fails to correct many of the problems we identified in our litigation, the BOP did at least realize that it cannot operate secretive prisons without proper public disclosure. While these changes are an improvement, they are not enough. The CMUs continue to operate in an unjust and Kafkaesque manner, and we are considering our options for an appeal.

Taking on abusive immigration practices
Our challenge to unjust detention policies is not limited to Guantánamo and the CMUs. InAshker v. Brown, we are suing the State of California to end long-term solitary confinement in California’s Pelican Bay prison. And in Detention Watch Network v. ICE, we are working to expose the federal quota requiring 34,000 immigration detention beds to be funded and filled per day. Together with Detention Watch Network (DWN), we are suing DHS and ICE to force them to comply with our FOIA request for information on the bed mandate. The case is one of two immigration-related cases we are currently pursuing. The other, Immigrant Defense Project v. ICE, filed with the Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) and the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), seeks to uncover information related to ICE’s home raids policies and practices. As CCR supporters may remember from two Fourth Amendment cases that we successfully settled – Argueta v. ICE and Aguilar v. ICE – the federal Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) agency conducts terrifying, warrantless home raids in immigrant communities, a practice made notorious in the Bush Administration and that continues today. These cases are part of our ongoing commitment to challenge abusive immigration practices.
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ACLU Stands Up for Stand-Ups

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October 7, 2003
Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Comedian Banned from Baltimore's Inner Harbor


BALTIMORE--The American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland today filed a lawsuit on behalf of a popular street performer who was banned from the city's Inner Harbor in October 2002 for making a joke deemed to be ""insensitive"" by Harborplace personnel. 

""This is no joke,"" said Rajeev Goyle, the ACLU attorney representing the performer, Jerry Rowan. ""By allowing speech to be banned solely because of its content, the City of Baltimore has transformed the public space of Inner Harbor into an area where only approved speech is permitted, in direct violation of the First Amendment.""

Rowan has appeared on CBS' ""Late Night with David Letterman"" and in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus. He has been described as a ""Harborplace favorite"" by the Baltimore Sun, and Baltimore Magazine hailed him as ""probably the most popular performer ever to wow Harborplace crowds.""

The ACLU lawsuit seeks immediate changes in the street performer program; compensatory damages for Rowan, who has been unable to earn a living since his dismissal; and a permanent injunction allowing Rowan to return to the venue where he had worked for over 20 years. 

Under the program, street performers are granted permission to perform and earn tips in the Inner Harbor but are not employees of the city or Harborplace.  The ACLU lawsuit contends that the program's guidelines are unconstitutionally vague and that arbitrary enforcement of the guidelines violates the First Amendment.

In April 2002, Rowan received a warning letter alleging that he had made ""inappropriate"" comments during his act.  He was not told what comments were found to be objectionable or who had complained about his performance.  Six months later, Rowan received a dismissal letter telling him that he could no longer perform in the Inner Harbor because city police officers and a Harborplace manager heard Rowan make a joke they felt was offensive.  No one complained to Rowan during his performance. 

Rowan has been added as a plaintiff to a lawsuit filed by the ACLU of Maryland in April 2003, Cunningham v. Flowers, which was brought on behalf of five women participating in a weekly vigils organized by Women in Black/Baltimore, part of Women in Black, an international network of women who hold silent vigils to protest war and promote peaceful solutions to conflict.  That lawsuit, which called city regulations governing demonstrations and other free speech activities in the city's parks unconstitutional, resulted in a temporary suspension of the city's permit requirements for groups of 25 or fewer people. A news release about the initial lawsuit is online at /cpredirect/11169

The defendants in the case are represented by Carmen Shepard and Adam Bloom of Buc & Beardsley, and Goyle and Susan Goering of the ACLU of Maryland.

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     These two rulings achieve immensely more than merely increase political corruption.  They permit the wholesale capture of the US electoral democracy.  And there is a deeper violation of the people.  The public does not yet understand the cultural consequences of the rulings.  Our electoral system was not great before these rulings; it was as much myth as fact.  But it grounded the people in their faith in US “freedom,” and it justified the often horrible experiences of the US troops both in combat and in return home.   Now one of the most persuasive supports of the myth of US “exceptionalism” and the invasion of or intervention in over forty countries since 1945 is gone. 
     Yet the ACLU has kept silent about the rulings.  Recently, I received a flyer from the ACLU entitled ‘Top Ten Threats to Civil Liberties.”  No. 3 is “Voting Rights Under Siege”: “Elected officials have introduced voter suppression bills in more than half of the states since the beginning of the year.”  What?  That’s it for voting rights?  That little bitty issue?   Not the massive bribery of our representatives, secrecy of sources of boatloads of money, 24-7 saturation of dishonest TV advertising,  and all the other methods of controlling elections money can buy?   How can the ACLU have become so blind regarding the voter’s right to open and free elections?
      Like some other evils, it grew out of a good, nourishing principle that became hard dogma.   The admission of money to the Free Speech clause of the First Amendment was at first reasonable.  All voters had the right to raise money for their campaigns; money was an extension of speech.  But as corporations consolidated, individuals grew richer, and what seemed common sense became Godzilla’s flamethrower breath of money.   Money had become monarchical absolutism empowering a handful of people to purchase elections.  Voting rights were no longer merely under siege; they were burned up and into ashes. 
      The catastrophe, however, does not mean I will shoot myself in my foot by withdrawing my lifetime commitment to the ACLU.   --Dick

May 27, 2013
Dear Dick,
Many Americans experience Memorial Day as little more than a three day weekend, overlooking the holiday’s origins as a reminder to pay respects to fallen US service members.
I’m writing today to ask you whether the values they believed in—democracy, due process, and liberty—will survive the next decade. With those values facing profound threats in Washington from both major political parties, can we count on you today to support BORDC’s efforts to mobilize transpartisan support for constitutional values?
Recent revelations of the FBI seizing records from the Associated Press recall shades of the COINTELPRO era, and communities across the US have endured mass criminalization for years. Drone aircraft have already begun spreading from coast-to-coast, deployed by local police agencies and sheriffs, in addition to their federal counterparts.
These abuses did not happen in a vacuum. Congress, the courts, and the White House—under the leadership of presidents from both major political parties—have expanded executive power relentlessly over the past decade. Even though many officials mouth platitudes about civil rights and civil liberties, few respect those principles in practice.
Concerned Americans can make a difference on constitutional issues by taking local action.
Dozens of transpartisan grassroots activists have sought BORDC’s grassroots organizing guidance, legal expertise, and media outreach support. Please join us today and help us reach these allies in the fight to restore due process!
Mobilizing local action to force the winds in Washington to shift is exactly what BORDC does every day:
•    This spring, BORDC hosted weekend-long convenings in Boston and San Francisco which brought together dozens of diverse, transpartisan grassroots organizers to share skills and case studies.
•    BORDC micro-grants to our grassroots partners have enabled public education events from film screenings in Maryland to a community picnic in North Carolina, and access to equipment from a video camera in LA to a mobile sound system in DC.
•    Just a few weeks ago, we launched model legislation through which local governments—and the grassroots coalitions that we support—can impose crucial limits on the use of drones for domestic surveillance.

You can help challenge the national security state by supporting BORDC’s mission to restore civil liberties. Every contribution is tax-deductible and helps build the movement, especially with generous matching grants expanding your contribution by 150% (doubling it and then adding an additional 50%)!
Invest today in your civil liberties and the constitutional legacy that inspired the Americans whose sacrifices we celebrate this Memorial Day.

Warm regards,
Shahid Buttar
Executive Director
PS: There is no better time to contribute. Please give today and thanks to a series of generous matching grants your support will be more than doubled!
Bill of Rights Defense Committee
8 Bridge Street, Suite A, Northampton, MA 01060
Telephone: 413-582-0110
Fax: 413-582-0116

Here is the link to all OMNI newsletters:

CIA Employees Face New Inquiry Amid Clashes on Detention Program 
Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times, Reader Supported News, March 5, 2014 
Mazzetti reports: "The Central Intelligence Agency's attempt to keep secret the details of a defunct detention and interrogation program has escalated a battle between the agency and members of Congress." 
READ MORE  2-23-15

Key parts of the Patriot Act expire soon -- so we have a new opportunity to push back against ongoing, illegal, mass surveillance of Americans.
The government has used the Patriot Act to claim enormous new powers to spy on all of us -- and has lied about it with impunity.

It's gone too far, but this spring, key provisions of the Patriot Act are set to expire – including one that the NSA claims lets it collect private data about all of our phone calls.

It's illegal and ineffective, and it must STOP.

Click here to join us and our partners as we tell Congress that we can't allow unconstitutional mass surveillance of Americans to continue.

This spying is so offensive that the original sponsor of the Patriot Act, Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, is urging colleagues to sign a letter asserting that they will vote against reauthorization if the law is not amended to ban mass surveillance.

More signatures on the letter mean more power for us and our allies as the Patriot Act approaches its sunset.

Will you click here to urge your lawmakers to sign it the letter?  It'll just take a second, and will strengthen our position as we approach the Patriot Act expiration.

We've come close to reining in the NSA several times -- with your help, we can win this one.

-The team at
30 Ritchie Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

Recent OMNI Newsletters (all relate to CL and HR in varying degrees, and several to Climate Change and Empire):
Hope 3-26
UN World Water DAY (OMNI’s National DAYS Project):
Nuclear Weapons Newsletter:
Women’s History Month Newsletter:
Vegetarian Action Newsletter (for Health, Rights of Animals, Resistance to Climate Change):

Contents #1
New Books and Films
Susan Herman, Taking Liberties
Bill Quigley, Dissent Weakened, Police More Militarized
Fusion Centers
Habeas Corpus
Right to Dissent
Right to Protest
Victory in Goodman vs. St. Paul

Contents #2 Focus on Indefinite Detention and Obama
Opposition Grows vs. Indefinite Detention in NDAA:
BORDC Action
Swanson: King Obama
Cockburn: Habeas Corpus
Davidson: Indefinite Detention: What Will Our Dem or GOP  Elite Do?
Wendell Griffen, Indefinite Detainees
 Bill Quigley, Dissent Weakened, Police More Militarized
20 Ways Obama vs. Civil Liberties

Contents #3
Tom Kennedy on Rights of Aliens
Dick on Attacks on Constitution Reagan to Present
From BORDC:  Notable Civil Liberties Events--Indefinite Detention, etc.
Noam Chomsky, US vs. Magna Carta, I and II
Military, Police New Tech for “Crowd Control”

Contents Civil Liberties Newsletter #4
Dick: Civil Liberties, Patriot Act, Imperial and Climate Shocks 
BORDC October 2012
BORDC January 2013
Limits on Protest
Bush and Obama vs. Liberty
Lindorff:   Petraeus, Bill of Rights, Spying USA
Honigsberg, Consequences of the War on Terror
Francis A. Boyle, Defender of Resisters and Dissenters
Lendman’s Review of Boyle’s Protesting Power


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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)