I have exactly 5 minutes to write this before they come back again.
Some of you have been wondering what happened to the Ministry of Love.
Comrade O’Brien has asked me to relay this message. Predictably, he was captured six months ago and has been unable to communicate with you directly. He says that if you are still interested in distributing the Book, please email him in the place where there is no darkness.
borrowed from working assets:
Tell Your Senators: Vote Yes to Restore Habeas Corpus
Restore Habeas Corpus
This week, the Senate will hold its first up-or-down vote on restoring habeas corpus. Tell your Senators to support the Specter-Leahy amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill.
For the last several months, Working Assets members have been leading the fight to restore habeas corpus. We worked hard to ensure that legislation passed the Senate Judiciary committee by holding meetings with key senators. This week, the first up-or-down vote on restoring this critical right will occur in the Senate — and your voice can make a difference.
Tell your Senators that it is time to save habeas corpus and restore our Constitution.
In September 2006, Congress passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA), which stripped the right of habeas corpus for the first time since the Civil War. Habeas corpus is a fundamental right common to all modern legal systems, which requires independent judicial review of charges brought by the executive branch. But the passage of MCA has allowed the Bush administration to hold “detainees” at Guantanamo indefinitely — without any explanation for their imprisonment.
Click here to let your Senators know you want to see habeas corpus restored.
Indefinite detention is simply unconstitutional, and does not reflect American values. On June 7th, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to take the first step to restore habeas corpus by approving the “Habeas Corpus Restoration Act of 2007” (S. 185), sponsored by Senators Leahy and Specter. Today, the Senate is starting debate on the Defense Authorization bill, and S. 185 will be offered as an amendment.
Without habeas corpus, it’s a very slippery slope towards dictatorship. So click here to ask your Senators to vote yes on the Leahy-Specter habeas amendment; we’ll send a copy of your letter to your representative as well.
Please share this message with anyone you know who cares about restoring habeas corpus.
Thank you for working to build a better world.
Will Easton, Manager
Don’t We Have a Constitution, Not a King?
By Marjorie Cohn, AlterNet
As the nation focused on whether Congress would exercise its constitutional duty to cut funding for the war, Bush quietly issued an unconstitutional bombshell that went virtually unnoticed by the corporate media.
The National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive, signed on May 9, 2007, would place all governmental power in the hands of the President and effectively abolish the checks and balances in the Constitution.
If a “catastrophic emergency” — which could include a terrorist attack or a natural disaster — occurs, Bush’s new directive says: “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government.”
What about the other two co-equal branches of government? The directive throws them a bone by speaking of a “cooperative effort” among the three branches, “coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers.” The Vice-President would help to implement the plans.
“Comity,” however, means courtesy, and the President would decide what kind of respect for the other two branches of government would be “proper.” This Presidential Directive is a blatant power grab by Bush to institutionalize “the unitary executive.”
A seemingly innocuous phrase, the unitary executive theory actually represents a radical, ultra rightwing interpretation of the powers of the presidency. Championed by the conservative Federalist Society, the unitary executive doctrine gathers all power in the hands of the President and insulates him from any oversight by the congressional or judicial branches.
In a November 2000 speech to the Federalist Society, then Judge Samuel Alito said the Constitution “makes the president the head of the executive branch, but it does more than that. The president has not just some executive powers, but the executive power — the whole thing.”
These “unitarians” claim that all federal agencies, even those constitutionally created by Congress, are beholden to the Chief Executive, that is, the President. This means that Bush could disband agencies like the Federal Communications Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Federal Reserve Board, etc., if they weren’t to his liking.
Indeed, Bush signed an executive order stating that each federal agency must have a regulatory policy office run by a political appointee. Consumer advocates were concerned that this directive was aimed at weakening the Environmental Protection Agency and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The unitary executive dogma represents audacious presidential overreaching into the constitutional province of the other two branches of government.
This doctrine took shape within the Bush administration shortly after 9/11. On September 25, 2001, former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo used the words “unitary executive” in a memo he wrote for the White House: “The centralization of authority in the president alone is particularly crucial in matters of national defense, war, and foreign policy, where a unitary executive can evaluate threats, consider policy choices, and mobilize national resources with a speed and energy that is far superior to any other branch.” Six weeks later, Bush began using that phrase in his signing statements.
As of December 22, 2006, Bush had used the words “unitary executive” 145 times in his signing statements and executive orders. Yoo, one of the chief architects of Bush’s doctrine of unfettered executive power, wrote memoranda advising Bush that because he was commander in chief, he could make war any time he thought there was a threat, and he didn’t have to comply with the Geneva Conventions.
In a 2005 debate with Notre Dame professor Doug Cassel, Yoo argued there is no law that could prevent the President from ordering that a young child of a suspect in custody be tortured, even by crushing the child’s testicles.
The unitary executive theory has already cropped up in Supreme Court opinions. In his lone dissent in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Justice Clarence Thomas cited “the structural advantages of a unitary Executive.” He disagreed with the Court that due process demands an American citizen held in the United States as an enemy combatant be given a meaningful opportunity to contest the factual basis for that detention before a neutral decision maker. Thomas wrote, “Congress, to be sure, has a substantial and essential role in both foreign affairs and national security. But it is crucial to recognize that judicial interference in these domains destroys the purpose of vesting primary responsibility in a unitary Executive.”
Justice Thomas’s theory fails to recognize why our Constitution provides for three co-equal branches of government.
In 1926, Justice Louis Brandeis explained the constitutional role of the separation of powers. He wrote, “The doctrine of the separation of powers was adopted by the convention of 1787 not to promote efficiency but to preclude the exercise of arbitrary power. The purpose was not to avoid friction, but, by means of the inevitable friction incident to the distribution of the governmental powers among three departments, to save the people from autocracy.”
Eighty years later, noted conservative Grover Norquist, describing the unitary executive theory, echoed Brandeis’s sentiment. Norquist said, “you don’t have a constitution; you have a king.”
One wonders what Bush & Co. are setting up with the new Presidential Directive. What if, heaven forbid, some sort of catastrophic event were to occur just before the 2008 election? Bush could use this directive to suspend the election. This administration has gone to great lengths to remain in Iraq. It has built huge permanent military bases and pushed to privatize Iraq’s oil. Bush and Cheney may be unwilling to relinquish power to a successor administration.
Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, president of the National Lawyers Guild, and the US representative to the executive committee of the American Association of Jurists. Her new book, Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, will be published in July. Her articles are archived at http://www.marjoriecohn.com/.
© 2007 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved
The Ministry of Love is hoping to subcontract some of its work to workers at the Ministry of Truth.
We need assistance with our ongoing, online promotional efforts to attract more copies of the Book.
If you can devote two or more hours a week to the Cause, please contact O’Brien.
We are receipt of a copy of 1984 refused by Hon. Rep. J. Gresham Barrett.
Mr. Barrett writes: “Thank you so much for sending me a copy of George Orwell’s 1984. I greatly appreciate your thoughtfulness. As you may know I currently serve on the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, more commonly known as the Ethics Committee. In an effort to ensure House Rules are not violated, and to avoid an appearance of impropriety, I have instituted a No Gift Policy for my office. As a result I am unable to accept your gift.”
The Ministry of Love will be proud to join in the Impeachment Celebrations occurring across our brave Homeland this weekend.
We will meet in Branford, CT at 1PM on Saturday.
For exact location please contact unpersons/at/gmail/dot/com.
Available for a limited time here
We apologize for the lapse in communication…we were very busy preparing for another Hate Week.
We have sent all the copies of 1984 in our possession, leaving 166 Inner Party Members yet to be indoctrinated.
Following are the House Inner Party Members who have not yet received copies.
The Senate Inner Party Members have been re-educated fullwise by now.
Pick a rep. to sponsor today!
The Iraq Veterans Memorial is an online war memorial that honors the members of the U.S. armed forces who have lost their lives serving in the Iraq War. The Memorial is a collection of video memories from family, friends, military colleagues, and co-workers of those that have fallen.
There is a video, which we cannot seem to embed here.