All posts by Susanne Savage

ACLU-SC Board Passes Bush/Cheney Impeachment Resolution

The board of directors of the ACLU of Southern California has passed a resolution calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for their abuses of basic civil liberties.

“President Bush has violated his oath of office to ‘protect, preserve, and defend the Constitution,’ has subverted the system and structure of democratic government, and has otherwise engaged in a course of conduct that warrants removal from office,” the board’s resolution states.

The ACLU/SC board urges the House of Representatives to investigate impeachable offenses by the President and Vice President, including:

• Manipulating intelligence before the Iraq War and deceiving the American people about imminent threats they faced.

• Authorizing the torture of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other military prisons and handing over suspects to other nations who tortured them (a practice known as “extraordinary rendition”).

• Authorizing the firing of federal prosecutors for political reasons and obstructing justice by defying Congressional subpoenas investigating the firing.

• Authorizing wiretaps on U.S. citizens without warrants and in violation of the Constitution, and concealing the program from Congress and the public.

• Conspiring to disclose the name of Valerie Plame, a covert agent in the Central Intelligence Agency. This action risked her life and the lives of her intelligence contacts.  

“This White House has broken American law and deceived the American people, not just once but again and again,” said ACLU/SC board president Alan Toy. “Congress has a duty to hold President Bush and Vice President Cheney responsible for their actions, and history certainly will.”

For more information, contact the ACLU of So Cal pressroom at (213)977-5252 or email [email protected]  

LAPD “Maps” Area Muslims: ACLU-SC and Community Groups Sound Alarm

Today the ACLU of Southern California sent a letter to the Los Angeles Police Department’s deputy chief commanding officer of LAPD’s Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau, Michael P. Downing, to express its grave concerns about efforts by the LAPD to map Muslim communities in the Los Angeles area as part of its counter-terrorism program.

The letter, co-signed by the Islamic Shura Council, the Council on American Islamic Relations, and Muslim Advocates comes just after Downing’s testimony in front of the US Senate in which he described the department’s efforts to identify and counter violent extremism, in part by identifying who the city’s Muslims are and where they’re located.

“Singling out individuals for investigation, surveillance, and data-gathering based on their religion constitutes religious profiling that is just as unlawful, ill-advised, and deeply offensive as racial profiling…[ ]…While preventing violence and terrorism is a goal we all share, it must be pursued in a manner respectful of the rights of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim Americans living in the Los Angeles area” writes Peter Bibring of the ACLU-SC.  The letter goes on to request a meeting among the parties to engage on this important safety and civil liberties issue.

Commander Dowling reportedly got the idea of mapping while visiting West Yorkshire England during a brief stint with Scotland Yard in late 2006.


Are You Seeing Any Bumperstickers?

I’ve seen only a handful of presidential bumperstickers in Los Angeles the last few months. I’ve been waiting for those dreadful “Kerry Edwards” things to come off on the Dem side, but the pickings have been slim. What have you seen?

This weekend in Hollywood and Toluca Lake I saw a Rudy sticker, all by itself, a Fred Thompson sticker amidst Human Rights Campaign and “Don’t Test on Animals” stickers, and a John McCain sticker along side a UC Berkeley emblem. What gives? I had my Dean For America sticker flying from April 03 and replaced it in January 04 with a DFA sticker. I think I’ve seen exactly 2 Obama stickers and MAYBE one for Hillary. What’s happening here?  Are people still not decided? or am I driving around the wrong areas? What’s happening where you are?

John Dean Wants You To Call Him

Join the ACLU of Southern California as it hosts former Nixon White House counsel and bestselling author John Dean for a lively and interesting conference call tomorrow, October 4 from 4-5pm PST (7-8pm EST).

His new book, “Broken Government: How Republican Rule Destroyed the Legislative, Executive and Judicial Branches,” bashes the principles of the “unitary executive theory” and suggests what we can do to bring back America’s system of checks and balances.

Call in to (888) 346-5716 at 4pm PST Thursday, October 4, to connect. Calls are free, operator moderated and open to the public.

On our call he will address the question that he is so often asked at his speaking engagements: What, if anything, can politically moderate citizens do to combat the extremism, authoritarianism, incompetence, and increasing focus on divisive wedge issues of so many of today’s conservative politicians?

He’ll then take your questions! Air America’s “Young Turks” host Cenk Uygur moderates.

Visit the Campaign for Our Constitution website for news, action alerts, and audio files of our first two conference calls with authors Glenn Greenwald and Dr. Drew Westen.

Help Fight the Politics of Fear and Save the Constitution

It’s not enough to shout at your computer or throw things at the television. Join the ACLU-SC for a live strategy session tomorrow with Dr. Drew Westen and then help us fight for our Constitutional liberties.

The Bush administration’s message of fear has cowed members of both parties in Congress and produced some substantial hits against Constitutional liberties since 9/11: the Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act, and most recently the Protect America Act.  The 2006 new Congressional majority hasn’t made a dent in the excesses of Bush’s “war on terror,” including the suspension of habeas corpus rights, wiretapping without court warrants, and the maintenance of the offshore prison in Guantanamo Bay.

Why is this “war on terror” such a useful tool for eliminating civil liberties and increasing executive power?  What can be done to stop our government from terrorizing its own people and setting a bad example for the rest of the world?

The ACLU of Southern California has invited Dr. Drew Westen, author of the groundbreaking bestseller, “The Political Brain” to discuss his thoughts about the politics of fear with Air America’s Cenk Uygur in a live strategy session on Thursday, September 20, from 4-5 pm, PST, 7-8pm EST.  They will discuss how to blunt the White House’s ongoing scare tactics and take your questions. 

Standing on the Senate floor today, Sen. Joseph Biden chided the Bush Administration’s false choice. “As I’ve said before, the terrorists win when we abandon our civil liberties. The way we win is to show them that we can fight this war without changing our character as a nation. I hope the Senate reconsiders this issue once again…  The position urged by the Administration, that we must choose between Constitutional rights and fighting terrorism effectively, is simply wrong. Our strength as a nation, and our status as a world leader, is based in part on the fact that Americans do not choose between national security and liberty; we demand both,” said Sen. Biden.

Whether it’s Homeland Security secretary Michael Chertoff talking about his “gut feeling” about an impending terror attack, or Dick Cheney’s chief of staff saying we are “one bomb away” from ending legal checks on wiretaps, this administration is always ready to stand up and fright. Let’s turn the tables.

When: Thursday, September 20th, 4-5pm PST
Where: From the comfort of your home or office.  Dial into our toll free phone number and be part of this lively discussion.
How: send an email to [email protected] or visit… for details.

Pooping On The Left

I can’t decide if Jonah Goldberg’s insufferable columns in the LA Times delightfully show the world just how whacked out right wing opinion is, or if they’re hideous trash that must be stopped. Today is no different.  “Popping The Left’s Internet Bubble” subtitled, “don’t believe the hype – when liberals are in power, conservatives will once again thrive online” is yet another lame effort in the pages of the LA Times to downplay progressives’ strength and successes in online activism.

The fact that it’s coming from a well known conservative, rather than a “neutral” journalism professor, like Michael Skube, author of Sunday’s debacle, probably doesn’t rankle too many feathers, but it’s still getting valuable face time none the less.

Goldberg’s theory, that the nutroots will soon catch up and surpass the netroots because, well, it’s easier and more exciting to be on offense, is a loser.  Apparently “liberalism is having a nice moment” and we should be thankful for our lousy war, our lousy president and lousy Republican congress because it’s made us stronger! 

No mention of the blood, sweat and tears put into this movement by the people who populate these sites. Or the thoughtfulness and affinity for the truth. Or the attention to detail and trial and error we’ve had to endure. No, this moment has been handed to us by an unpopular president and a stupid war, and when the Democrats get back into power (I guess winning back the House and Senate last year doesn’t qualify) then the right wing will regain its strength and show Daily Kos and MoveOn a thing or two about online activism.

The dishonesty coming from the pages of the LA Times on this subject has been absurd.  You can’t scan the horizon and claim to know its depths.

Find the op-ed here:  http://www.latimes.c…

CReeP Convention 9/7-9/9

For the intrepid among us, a weekend in the desert with state Republicans…..

Please join fellow California Republicans for a
“Weekend in the Desert”
at the
California Republican Party State Convention
September 7-9, 2007
Renaissance Esmeralda Resort & Spa
Indian Wells, CA

Invited Guest Speakers Include:
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
United States Senator & Presidential Candidate John McCain
Governor Tim Pawlenty (MN)
Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. (UT)
Governor Rick Perry (TX)
Governor Charlie Crist (FL)
United States Congressman Kevin McCarthy
California Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner
Board of Equalization Member Michelle Steel
Senator Tom McClintock
Senator George Runner
Assemblywoman Mimi Walters
Assemblyman Chuck Devore
Assemblyman Cameron Smyth
Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi
Assemblywoman Bonnie Garcia
Assemblywoman Sharon Runner
Assemblyman Van Tran
Assemblyman Martin Garrick
Assemblyman Bob Huff
Assemblyman John Benoit
Congresswoman Mary Bono

Hot Topics
Take part in our series of workshops and panel discussions
geared to provide education and insight on current issues

When It’s Time For A Break
Savor delicious cuisine to tempt your palate
Soak up the sun, stretch out on a sandy beach or swim under a waterfall
Enjoy complimentary daily kids’ activities at the Renaissance
Relax with fabulous spa services or enjoy golf, tennis and world-class shopping
Enjoy the serenity of the desert through the breath-taking Aerial Tramway
or a hot-air balloon ride… the choice is yours.…

For additional information, call 818-841-5210, Ext. 135