Heads up from Maryrose Asher:

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/19/exceptionalism/

Binyam Mohamed, war crimes investigations, and American exceptionalism” by Glenn Greenwald.

 

http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2009/02/10/obama/.

“The 180-degree reversal of Obama’s State Secrets position” by Glenn Greenwald.

 

http://www.aclu.org/safefree/torture/38695prs20090209.html

Justice Department Stands Behind Bush Secrecy in Extraordinary Rendition Case: ACLU

 

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/02/10/is-this-the-change-we-can-believe-in/ .

“Is this the ‘Change We Can Believe in’” ACLU

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/10/us/10torture.html?_r=2 .

Obama Backs Off a Reversal on Secrets”

 

http://jonathanturley.org/2009/02/22/obama-administration-sides-with-bush-administration-on-key-cases-involving-missing-emails-right-to-dna-evidence-and-executive-privilege/

Obama Administration Sides With Bush Administration on Key Cases Involving Missing Emails, Right to DNA Evidence, and Executive Privilege” by Jonathan Turley.

 

TAKE ACTION!

The State Secrets Protection Act of 2009 was submitted in both the House and Senate on 2/11/09. The companion bills are S.417 and H.R.984. You can look these up at http://thomas.loc.gov/ to see the sponsors and cosponsors. None of the Washington State delegation has yet sponsored these bills.

Sample letter:

On Wednesday, February 11, 2009, the State Secrets Protection Act of 2009 (S.417) was introduced to narrow the scope of the “state secrets” privilege. This essential bill requires a court to make an independent assessment of any government state secrets claim.  And it allows victims of government wrongdoing to seek justice without running into a wall of secrecy.

The Bush administration constantly abused the “state secrets” doctrine, broadly claiming legal cases couldn’t go forward without jeopardizing national security.  Because they used this doctrine to escape accountability for illegal behavior, not a single torture victim has had his or her day in court.

No one is interested in taking away the government’s legitimate right to protect sensitive national security information.  But, as Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), a key sponsor of companion legislation in the House (H.R.984) makes clear, “The right to have one’s day in court is fundamental to protecting basic civil liberties, and it must not be sacrificed to overbroad claims of secrecy.”

As a supporter of civil liberties and the rule of law, I urge you to support this critical bill and become a co-sponsor of the State Secrets Protection Act of 2009.

 

Sample telephone message:

I have a message for Senator xxxx

Please support S.417,

“A bill to enact a safe, fair, and responsible state secrets privilege Act”

 

Basically the bill helps to prevent the federal government from

hiding it’s improper activity behind claims of defending national security.

 

Washington State Senators local telephone numbers:

Maria Cantwell:  206-220-6400

Patty Murray 206-553-5545