While the ACLU suffers from more than its share of abuse in this country, the ninety-three year old organization still effectively operates as an American institution; a bulwark of democracy as essential to the general defense of Americans' civil rights as is due process of law itself. At one time or another, they've probably managed to piss everybody off, whether he or she is a socially conscious citizen... or not so conscious citizen.
But the animus and ill-will the ACLU has had to endure for almost a century now, should really be worn by the organization [with beaming pride] as a badge of courage. It should also provide a clue to anyone paying attention that if they're making everyone angry at one time or another they must be doing the right thing -- constitutionally -- no matter whose proverbial toes it steps on in the process. They seek justice. And nothing but justice... for all. They promote and demand redress of grievance from both our courts and our government for anyone requesting it. Please support their very worthy quest for justice for ALL Americans in any way you can. Donate what you can. Or even consider becoming a card-carrying member if you're so inclined. But remember, by doing so... you're guaranteed to piss someone off.
Please follow the road to justice. (below the orange hoojamakoogy)
The American Civil Liberties Union released a public statement yesterday that should lend at least a bit of encouragement to any American concerned with the quasi-totalitarian direction our government seems to have chosen to take after the terrorist attacks in New York City and the Pentagon on 911. If you're paying attention, no doubt you've felt something has been wrong in this country for some time now. Whether it's the [so-called] Patriot Act (PDF), the AUMF, the recent NDAA or a host of other dubious pieces of legislation passed with little public exposure over the past decade or more; these bills have been stealthily engineered to limit or suppress our civil liberties and/or rights afforded every American by the U.S. Constitution.
The ACLU's statement is provided in its entirety below:
Militarization of Local Law Enforcement Erodes Civil Liberties, Encourages Overly Aggressive Policing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 6, 2013
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW YORK – American Civil Liberties Union affiliates in 23 states today simultaneously filed more than 255 public records requests to determine the extent to which local police departments are using federally subsidized military technology and tactics that are traditionally used overseas.
"Equipping state and local law enforcement with military weapons and vehicles, military tactical training, and actual military assistance to conduct traditional law enforcement erodes civil liberties and encourages increasingly aggressive policing, particularly in poor neighborhoods and communities of color," said Kara Dansky, senior counsel for the ACLU's Center for Justice. "We've seen examples of this in several localities, but we don't know the dimensions of the problem."
The affiliates filed public records requests with local law enforcement agencies seeking information on the use of:
Special Weapons and Tactics teams, including:
Number and purpose of deployments
Types of weapons used during deployments
Injuries sustained by civilians during deployments
Cutting edge weapons and technologies, including:
GPS tracking devices
Unmanned aerial vehicles, or "drones"
Augmented detainee restraint, or "shock-cuffs"
Military weaponry, equipment, and vehicles obtained from or funded by federal agencies such as the Departments of Defense and/or Homeland Security.
Affiliates filed a second request with state National Guards seeking information regarding:
Cooperative agreements between local police departments and the National Guard counter-drug program.
Incidents of National Guard contact with civilians.
"The American people deserve to know how much our local police are using military weapons and tactics for everyday policing," said Allie Bohm, ACLU advocacy and policy strategist. "The militarization of local police is a threat to Americans' right to live without fear of military-style intervention in their daily lives, and we need to make sure these resources and tactics are deployed only with rigorous oversight and strong legal protections."
The affiliates which filed public records requests are: Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
Once the information has been collected and analyzed, if needed, the ACLU will use the results to recommend changes in law and policy governing the use of military tactics and technology in local law enforcement.
More information can be found here:
Pretty much says it all, eh?
Once again, please support the ACLU in any way possible.
"So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy." -- ACLU Founder Roger Baldwin - 1920