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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
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Military Commissions Act Protesters Go To Court
1/18/07 From Portland Indymedia
Charges Dismissed for All Protesters in Oct. White House Action against Torture and Military Commissions Act of 2006
Washington, DC, Jan. 17, 2007– U.S. Judge Deborah Robinson dismissed the government’s case against all 16 defendants today charged with “interfering with agency functions.” The 16 had attempted to present a “People’s Signing Statement” opposing the Military Commissions Act (MCA) of 2006 to President Bush at the White House on Oct. 17, 2006. That morning, Bush ceremoniously signed into law the act defendants said legalizes torture for the first time in our nation’s history and broadly denies Habeas Corpus protection — a right guaranteed ever since the Magna Carta of 1215.
At a news conference in front of the US Federal Courthouse Jean Athey, co-coordinator of the Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture, stated, “The Military Commissions Act is an attack on basic American and religious values and the Constitution.” She quoted a line from the Statement of Conscience of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture: “Torture violates the basic dignity of the human person that all religions hold dear. It degrades everyone involved – policy-makers, perpetrators and victims. It contradicts our nation’s most cherished ideals.”
“This is the most dangerous law ever passed in the U.S. in my lifetime,” Athey said. “As a patriot and person of faith, it is my obligation to do everything in my power to get this law rescinded. It deeply shames our country.”
Art Laffin of the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, another defendant, said, “The Military Commissions Act is an affront to God’s command to love one another, an assault on human rights, and a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Conventions. The real crime here is not the nonviolent action of the 16 people who were arrested at the White House for protesting the signing of this act into law by Mr. Bush, but rather the Bush Administration’s policies of prohibiting due process and ordering torture.”
The charge carried a maximum penalty of six months in jail, a fine of an unknown amount, plus court costs.
Organizations sponsoring the October protest and supporting the defendants include: The Washington Region Religious Campaign Against Torture ( http://www.wrrcat.org ), in coordination with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, Dorothy Day Catholic Worker, Torture Abolition Survivor Support Coalition, DC Anti-War Network, Witness Against Torture, and PeaceAction Montgomery. Those arrested on October 17, 2006 and whose charges were dismissed on Wednesday January 17, 2007 were:
Herb Ettel, Jean Athey, Susan Crane, Matt Daloisio, Pete Perry, Eve Tetaz, Art Laffin, Malachy Kilbride, Harold Nelson, Tom Feagley, Gary Mummert, Steve Lane, Eleanor Lewis, Nancy Gowan, Bill Streit, Pat Saloman
Pictures at: http://www.jonahhouse.org/WHoct06.htm
Comrades at Unamerican and Students for an Orwellian Society have agreed to sign on as co-sponsors to this project. Details to follow.
We have reached 10% of our goal number. Books are coming in from brave comrades all across our homeland.
The following Inner Party Members are spoken for:
Bachus of Alabama
Calvert of California
Lieberman, Johnson, Simmons, and Shays of Connecticut
Brownback of Kansas
Gregg and Sununu of New Hampshire
Brown, Voinovich and DeWine of Ohio
Fitzpatrick, Specter and Santorum of Pennsylvania
J. Davis, T. Davis, Warner, and Allen of Virginia
To sponsor your own Member with a book donation, enclose a note with your shipment.
Keep spreading the word.