Sunday, March 25, 2007

Take Your Allies Where You Find Them, AFA

Awhile back I posted about the formation of the American Freedom Agenda and said that I would find out what I could. You will find the AFA website here . Do not think that Barr, Keene, or Viguerie have changed their political stripes, they are Conservatives. Yes, with a capital 'C.' On social and economic issues our paths may coincide infrequently, our ideas about the role of government in those arenas is quite different, but here we are in complete agreement. I am going to directly copy and paste their 10 point agenda, so there is no mistaking my words or wishes with theirs :

Prohibit military commissions whose verdicts are suspect except in places of active hostilities where a battlefield tribunal is necessary to obtain fresh testimony or to prevent anarchy;

Prohibit the use of secret evidence or evidence obtained by torture or coercion in military or civilian tribunals;

Prohibit the detention of American citizens as unlawful enemy combatants without proof of criminal activity on the President’s say-so;

Restore habeas corpus for alleged alien enemy combatants, i.e., non-citizens who have allegedly participated in active hostilities against the United States, to protect the innocent;

Prohibit the National Security Agency from intercepting phone conversations or emails or breaking and entering homes on the President’s say-so in violation of federal law;

Empower the House of Representatives and the Senate collectively to challenge in the Supreme Court the constitutionality of signing statements that declare the intent of the President to disregard duly enacted provisions of bills he has signed into law because he maintains they are unconstitutional;

Prohibit the executive from invoking the state secrets privilege to deny justice to victims of constitutional violations perpetrated by government officers or agents; and, establish legislative-executive committees in the House and Senate to adjudicate the withholding of information from Congress based on executive privilege that obstructs oversight and government in the sunshine;

Prohibit the President from kidnapping, detaining, and torturing persons abroad in collaboration with foreign governments;

Amend the Espionage Act to permit journalists to report on classified national security matters without fear of prosecution; and;

Prohibit the listing of individuals or organizations with a presence in the United States as global terrorists or global terrorist organizations based on secret evidence.

Since their roll-out was March 20th the website is a little bare yet, but you should see it for yourself to ensure you know what I'm talking about. I am under no illusions about the differences in our Party affiliations, I also am under no illusions as to whether these matters supersede those affiliations. What is at stake is so basic to the structure of the US that our disagreements amount to small change. There is absolutely no point in trying to advance Democratic agenda absent our basic structure of government and law. That amounts to no more than spitting into the wind. The DOJ fight marks a beginning of Congressional interest in this, but is not any more than a first baby step.

The AFA has a Freedom Pledge for candidates, which is at least something. I am interested, but only in concrete pressure our public representatives to redress these grievances. Posturing bores me, quite plainly there is an ass kicking over due and it needs to be an enthusiastic one. This stance will put more stress on the politics of Republicans than Democrats for the obvious reason that Democrats didn't instigate this mess, though the amount of their kicking and screaming about it left quite a bit to be desired.

A little over 200 hundred years ago the instigators of this Constitutional mess would have been taken out and hanged for trying it. Today generating something close to discontent is difficult. It takes no more than the latest details of the affairs of a deceased blond to distract our attention. I will point out that in the face of all the BushCo crap, a NY Democratic Representative has the temerity to bring forward an assault weapons ban just to add to the insult and injury inflicted by the Republicans. Sometimes I really wonder just exactly how such stupid and asinine people manage to get themselves elected and if we really do deserve the kind of government the Framers put together.

Eight years ago I'd have fallen out laughing my butt off if somebody had suggested to me that Bob Barr could be an ally. I ain't laughing, I ain't smiling, I'm flat out pissed off and I'll take his hand, gladly. If you can't, maybe you'd better think over what kind of country you want to live in.


KISS said...

I have stated my thought on Barr and I support the greatest document in man's history..The Constitution of the United States. There has never been a finer document written as that one. The Bill of Rights, even as an bargaining chip is far and above the Magna Carta, the second greatest document. I never thought much of Abe Lincoln because of his declaration of suspending the Habeas Corpus.
But in all my life I have seen very few politico's that really embraced the Constitution.
In fact I have heard in private conversations " People have too much freedom" spoken by elected officials...believe it not.

Steve Culley said...

Only one thing left out, just in case all this police state struff doesn't go away. It's the second ammendment.

Chuck Butcher said...

It always pays to understand that politics can often cross Party lines and to get hung up on a label versus what is good for the country is stupidly short-sighted.