State of the Union: Restore our Constitutional Checks and Balances

January 31st, 2006 - by admin

Anthony Romero / ACLU & David Krieger / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation – 2006-01-31 23:17:23

Restore our Constitutional Checks and Balances
Anthony D. Romero / ACLU

“The state of our Union cannot be strong if the president continues to violate the law”

Tonight, the president gives his State of the Union address, and if recent weeks are any guide, he will stand before us and deny the truth about his program of illegal spying on innocent Americans.

Just last week in a White House press conference, President Bush claimed that the program is actually “designed to protect civil liberties.”

But the truth is that this warrantless spying is part of a wide-ranging pattern of abuses of power, abuses that are especially troubling as the administration renews its push this week for the wholesale reauthorization of the Patriot Act, despite persistent outcries for reform from both liberals and conservatives.

The illegal NSA spying and the Patriot Act are just two signs of the troubling state of our union; others include:

• Over 30,000 FBI national security letters demanding access to personal records

• Pentagon monitoring of peaceful political protestors

• Government labeling of groups like Greenpeace and PETA as terrorist organizations

Together, we must make it clear that no matter what President Bush says to blur the truth about his illegal actions, or to frighten us into accepting losses of liberty, the state of our union can’t be strong when the state of our civil liberties has reached an historic crisis.

The ACLU is doing everything in our power to challenge the administration’s reckless abuses of power, filing a landmark lawsuit against the NSA, challenging its illegal spying on Americans.

Today we are also running full-page ads in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times with an open letter to President Bush challenging his ongoing and unacceptable actions.

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