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Posts Tagged ‘Thomas Jefferson’


Apologies to Washington and Jefferson for posting this one, but they can take it ;)

From Charles Davis at Salon.com:

Terrible findings in the torture report “are not who we are,” John Kerry claims. Well, here’s a U.S. history lesson

America, nation of torturers: Stop saying "this isn't who we are" -- here's the real truth

John Yoo, Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in “24: Live Another Day,” John Brennan (Credit: AP/Susan Walsh/Fox/Reuters/Larry Downing/Photo collage by Salon)

It’s comforting for those whose actions are not aligned with their stated values to believe that what one does in real life is not what ultimately defines who one really is. It’s nice to think who we are is determined not by the things we did the day before, but by the stated ideals we hope to aspire to fulfill, starting tomorrow. In a nation-state founded by settler-colonial Protestants, the argument is familiar – it’s what’s deep down inside that gets one up into heaven, not the good or genocidal nature of what one does down here on Earth – and as with any half-decent lie, it’s relatable: as fallible human beings, we’d all rather like to believe that we’re not as bad as we are but as good as we say we would like to be.

While founded on the ethnic cleansing of the continent’s original inhabitants and the enslavement of its African workforce, the news – or rather, confirmation – that the CIA employed a revolting range of “enhanced” torture techniques in the wake of 9/11 is being portrayed by some as a vile exception to the United States’ otherwise exceptional history; a “stain on our values and history,” in the words of Senator Dianne Feinstein, whose committee released the report detailing the agency’s use of near-drownings and mock executions and sexual abuse to humiliate and demoralize a foreign “other” under the guise of gathering intelligence. These practices, the terrible things this country has again and again been shown to do, “are not who we are,” addedSecretary of State John Kerry. Indeed, “the awful facts of this report” do not even “represent who they are,” he said of those awful people described in that report (“its important that this period not define the intelligence community in anyone’s mind,” he continued).

“Some of the actions that were taken were contrary to our values,” President Barack Obama chimed in, crediting his government with, as always, correcting its own mistakes (“They aren’t picking up prisoners anymore,” Senator James Risch explained to CNN. “What they do is when they identify a high-value target, the target is droned.”).

As a rhetorical ploy, it’s understandable: Saying the United States has always been garbage is not going to be terribly popular in a nation that still fondly refers to a group of sadistic slave-owners as its “founding fathers” — so politicians savvy enough to know that openly embracing torture is not a good look for the world’s leading state-sponsor of holier-than-thou rhetoric, appeal to a history and set of values that never was and never were in practice, as a way to give political cover to their middling, public relations-minded critiques of the national-security state’s least defensible excesses. It’s entirely false, this narrative of extreme goodness marked by occasional self-correcting imperfection, but it satisfies our national ego to think the American phoenix rises from a store of ethically traded gold, not a pile of rotting trash.

“We will likely hear these false appeals to an imaginary history a great deal with the release of the Senate report on CIA torture,” writes Juan Cole, a history professor at the University of Michigan. But even historians can fall victim to America’s easier to digest mythology, with Cole proceeding to characterize the ugly truth about the United States – that it was founded on the “exaltation of ‘whiteness’ over universal humanity, and preference for property rights over human rights” – as but a right-wing lie. As he tells it, the likes of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were actually progressives who would almost certainly “have voted to release the report and . . . been completely appalled at its contents.”

Cole follows that assertion up with a list of things that some of these founding fathers said they believed: Jefferson, for instance, argued that the formal abolition of torture in the French legal system was in keeping with “the progress of philanthropy and civilization.” And the Bill of Rights of course prohibits “cruel and unusual punishment.” But, naggingly, the actual record of those who gave those nice speeches and drafted the Constitution suggests we shouldn’t just believe what they said and wrote down.

“Fascists will argue that the Constitution does not apply to captured foreign prisoners of war, or that the prisoners were not even P.O.W.s, having been captured out of uniform,” writes Cole. “But focusing on the category of the prisoner is contrary to the spirit of the founding fathers.”

Except, it isn’t at all – and if fascism is denying human rights on the basis of nationality or appearance, than the exalted founders were of course fascists themselves. The same document that ostensibly prohibits torture also defined an African slave as three-fifths of a person – and even then, only for purposes of bolstering the political power of those who enslaved them: in practice, they were treated as property whose master could torture or murder them with impunity. This is not pedantry: Hundreds of thousands of people were denied their ostensibly inalienable rights because of the color of their skin; nearly four million by the time of the Civil War, or almost half the population of the South.

Thomas Jefferson, for instance, may have agonized over the evil of slavery, usually in private, but then he also reputedly raped a 15-year-old he owned and, according to the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, paid $70 just so he could have a runaway slave he had already sold off to someone else “severely flogged in the presence of his old companions.” At least once, Jefferson even“ordered the destruction of all dogs belonging to his slaves,” according to researcher Mary V. Thompson. “At least one of the condemned dogs was hung as a disciplinary warning.”

Jefferson was a savage white supremacist who in practice if not always in speech believed that people of color (“slaves” and “savages” as they were known then; “thugs” and “terrorists” as they’re often called today) did not deserve all the same rights as wealthy white Americans like him; he could own them, but they could not even own a pet. The sometimes beautiful talk of universal rights popular around the time of the American revolution was ignored in practice; then as now there were giant exceptions for those whom it would be inconvenient to consider fully human.

Torture has always been commonplace in the United States. As former slave Harriet Ann Jacobs recounted, a wealthy slaveholder who was “highly educated, and styled a perfect gentleman,” tied up a fellow slave to a cotton gin for four days and five nights as punishment for running away; he “was found partly eaten by rats and vermin,” which had likely “gnawed him before life was extinct.” His body was unceremoniously dumped in a grave. “Women are considered of no value,” Jacobs recalled – “This same master shot a woman through the head” for running away, without harm to his social status (“the feeling was that the master had a right to do what he pleased with his own property”) – and any man who resisted a whipping risked being set upon by dogs “to tear his flesh from his bones.”

“I do not say there are no humane slaveholders,” Jacobs concluded her account. “Such characters do exist . . . . But they are ‘like angels’ visits – few and far between.’” And Africans weren’t the only ones denied the rights enjoyed by human property-owning white men.

“The kind of warfare the U.S. military practices today in the rest of the world was developed in their irregular counter-insurgency against Native nations, starting in the British colonial period for sure, but developing uniquely and more harshly once the U.S. was independent with a policy of conquering the continent,” said historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz. “The important thing to stress about the use of torture,” she told me, “is that it is unrelated to ‘getting information.’ Torture is used in counterinsurgency to terrorize a population . . . [it’s] a preventative measure to suppress resistance by terrifying the insurgents, breaking their will to continue.” And America has a long, ignoble history of doing it.

In her most recent book, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, notes that British colonists in America organized militias in order to steal land from the less-than-human natives, seeking “to disrupt every aspect of resistance as well as to obtain intelligence” by taking prisoners, “destroying indigenous villages and fields and intimidating and slaughtering enemy noncombatant populations.” A settler named Hannah Dustin became a folk hero in 17th century America after presenting 10 indigenous scalps to the Massachusetts General Assembly, which rewarded her “with bounties for two men, two women, and six children” (later on, the bounties were eliminated for indigenous children under the age of 10; “values”).

Seeking to expand his young nation-state’s territory, President George Washington concluded that, “No other remedy remains, but to extirpate, utterly if possible,” the indigenous population that stood in the white settlers’ way. Andrew Jackson personally waged total war against the men, women and children of the Muskogee Nation before becoming president and ethnically cleansing all native peoples East of the Mississippi; today the guy’s face is on the $20 bill. At Sand Creek, during the presidency of Abe Lincoln, dozens of unarmed Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians were massacred. “All manner of depredations were inflicted on their persons,” recountedone eyewitness. “They were scalped, their brains knocked out; the men used their knives, ripped open women, clubbed little children, knocked them in the head with their guns, beat their brains out, mutilated their bodies in every sense of the word.”

Instead of renouncing this history, we have chosen to celebrate a mythical, white-washed version of it, with genocide relegated to a footnote. If our leaders were more honest, they’d admit that the CIA’s recently revealed torture isn’t a break from this legacy, but the fruit of it – the product of decades of dehumanizing counter-insurgency warfare that expanded the USA from 13 colonies on the East Coast to much of North America and, ultimately, a global empire (it’s no coincidence that the code-name for Osama bin Laden was “Geronimo,” taken from the famed Apache leader).

After almost wiping out America’s original inhabitants, the U.S. government went on to declare total war on differently pigmented people around the globe. President Woodrow Wilson re-instituted slavery (or “forced labor”) in Haiti after its political class proved insufficiently compliant, his famed commitment to the right of self-determination not extending to those darker than pasty white. In Vietnam, the CIA’s “Phoenix Program” saw those accused of collaborating with the North Vietnamese subjected to “assassination, kidnapping, and systematic torture,”according to historian Douglas Valentine. Inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were raped and murdered. And today, amid official proclamations that we live in a post-torture age, inmates held in Guantanamo Bay – many of whom could never even go to a show trial because insofar as there’s any real evidence against them it was gained through torture – continue to be subjected to torturous force-feedings that have been condemned by the United Nations.

The abuse, exported across Latin America through the torture-training School of the Americas, also continues here at home, with tens of thousands of black and brown and poor white US citizens currently languishing in mind-destroying solitary confinement, California’s Pelican Bay State Prison alone holding over 500 people in isolation for a decade or more. In Chicago, a cop who electrocuted and otherwise tortured more than 200 people until they confessed to crimes they didn’t do, got off with about 3 years behind bars after the evidence of his sadism became too great to ignore; that’s less prison time than if he had been caught with a gram of crack cocaine.

Pointing all this out – noting that the U.S. government has rarely lived up to its stated ideals – is not to engage in mere pedantry, nor is it an attempt to suggest this country is irredeemably evil. This nation was born in genocide and slavery, sure, still it could conceivably change – but only if, instead of ignoring the institutionalized injustice, we recognizing and call out the systemic cause of the alleged “aberrations” our leaders are forced to distance themselves from every 18 months. The problem is not that the tree of liberty has produced a few bad seeds, but that the settler-colonists who planted it on someone else’s land watered it with blood of slaves and native peoples. It’s not George W. Bush and Dick Cheney who are responsible for making America a state that tortures, but George Washington and that other dick Tom Jefferson.

Avoiding the routine departure from “our values” requires confronting our actual history; it’s the only way to learn from it. Torture and total war are not the work of a few bad people, but the product of a system that from its inception treated human beings as property and the right to property as more important than the rights of women and men – it’s who we are, and if we want the violence wrought by our system to end, we must honestly address the systemic cause. The paeans to our imagined greatness might be comforting, we should resist the temptation to out-patriot the right or else we’ll end up just like them: doing public relations for the system that allows this evil to keep happening. And if humanity ever does manage to kick the habit of installing the worst among us at the top of hierarchical and unaccountable systems of power, history may very well judge us by our actions, not our pretty words and beautifully articulated aspirations.

 

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Reclaiming the Founding Fathers’ Vision of Prosperity

To understand the core problem in America today, we have to look back to the very founding of our country.

The Founding Fathers fought for liberty and justice. But they also fought for a sound economy and freedom from the tyranny of big banks:

“[It was] the poverty caused by the bad influence of the English bankers on the Parliament which has caused in the colonies hatred of the English and . . . the Revolutionary War.”
– Benjamin Franklin

“There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
– John Adams

“All the perplexities, confusion and distress in America arise, not from defects in their Constitution or Confederation, not from want of honor or virtue, so much as from the downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit and circulation.”
– John Adams

“If the American people ever allow the banks to control issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied”.
— Thomas Jefferson

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies…The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the Government, to whom it properly belongs.”
– Thomas Jefferson

“The Founding Fathers of this great land had no difficulty whatsoever understanding the agenda of bankers, and they frequently referred to them and their kind as, quote, ‘friends of paper money. They hated the Bank of England, in particular, and felt that even were we successful in winning our independence from England and King George, we could never truly be a nation of freemen, unless we had an honest money system. ”
-Peter Kershaw, author of the 1994 booklet “Economic Solutions”

Indeed, everyone knows that the American colonists revolted largely because of taxation without representation and related forms of oppression by the British. See this and this. But – according to Benjamin Franklin and others in the thick of the action – a little-known factor was actually the main reason for the revolution.

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Thomas Jefferson portrait. Unlike with the reg...

Thomas Jefferson portrait. Unlike with the regular issues Jefferson was the first American President to be honored on a commemorative postage issue, even before Washington was when the US Post Office 21 years later finally issued its first commemorative issue featuring Washington in its Lexington-Concord issue of 1925. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have”
Thomas Jefferson
Something odd and not quite as planned happened as America grew from its “City on a Hill” origins, on its way to becoming the world’s superpower: government grew. A lot. In fact, the government, which by definition does not create any wealth but merely reallocates it based on the whims of a select few, has transformed from a virtually invisible bystander in the economy, to the largest single employer, and a spending behemoth whose annual cash needs alone are nearly $4 trillion a year, and where tax revenues no longer cover even half the outflows. One can debate why this happened until one is blue in the face: the allures of encroaching central planning, the law of large numbers, and the corollary of corruption, inefficiency and greed, cheap credit, the transition to a welfare nanny state as America’s population grew older, sicker and lazier, you name it. The reality is that the reasons for government’s growth do not matter as much as realizing where we are, and deciding what has to be done: will America’s central planners be afforded ever more power to decide the fates of not only America’s population, but that of the world, or will the people reclaim the ideals that the founders of this once great country had when they set off on an experiment, which is now failing with every passing year?

CONTINUED HERE

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Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peal...

Image via Wikipedia

From ‘Forbidden Knowledge’ this topic and video about the US money scam, in fact, the World money scam. (Even bigger than the scam in the previous post.)

It all makes sense to me except I am not sure about the suggested solution – take out your money and invest it in Gold and Silver.

Firstly, who has money to take out and how much Gold will it buy?

Secondly, are not the majority of the public actually in debt? That’s all too hard for me to assess.

What I believe I understand is all the previous information. We may have gone past the point of no return on solutions.

Here is the accompanying text:

Uploaded by BoKnowsEntertainment
September 11,
2011

A retired banker describes simply, the world’s Money Scam and the reason every country is now going bankrupt. Private banks have stolen the money creation process, and whereas once our money was created by the governments, debt-free, it is now created out of thin air and issued as debt with interest charges. In today’s banker controlled world, money = debt, debt = slavery and therefore, money = slavery — our monetary systems have become systems of enslavement.

Money is created out of nothing, issued as debt, not enough money is created for the future interest payments and inflation steals our savings.

The money creation process should be taken away from the banks and given to the governments who can create money debt-free, interest-free. This is how it used to be done and we needed no income taxes. Finally, it is explained what we should do to stop supporting the money scam.

Here is the accompanying video:

What does it all mean?

Probably that we are all stuffed!  Anyone agree, or disagree?

Should have Thomas Jefferson been respected and listened to?

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King Charles I, by unknown artist, given to th...

Image via Wikipedia

Once upon a time there was ‘the divine right of kings,’ a political and religious doctrine of political legitimacy asserting that kings are subject to no earthly authority, deriving their right to rule directly from the will of God. The king was thus not subject to the will of his people. According to this doctrine, since only God can judge an unjust king, the king can do no wrong. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute a sacrilegious act.

Then came a time and men like Thomas Jefferson to change all that, and with it a new doctrine that basically said: “[A] bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”

But things never remain the same.  Do they? In this case, devolution of some sort took place, gradually, sometimes more rapidly than at other times, and things reverted back to what they once were. The Divine Right returned, albeit with one or two cosmetic and inconsequential differences. Change the word ‘king’ to ‘Federal Government,’ expand the right to make it ‘rights,’ add a body of votes issued and granted (sometimes) by those who serve the throne, and there you have it:

CONTINUED HERE

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The 18 day non-violent Egyptian protests for freedom raise the question: is America next? Were Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine around, they would likely say “what are we waiting for?” They would be appalled by the concentration of economic and political power in such a few hands. Remember how often these two men warned about concentrated power.

Our Declaration of Independence (1776) listed grievances against King George III. A good number of them could have been made against “King” George W. Bush who not only brushed aside Congressional War-making authority under the Constitution but plunged the nation through lies into extended illegal wars which he conducted in violation of international law. Even conservative legal scholars such as Republicans Bruce Fein and former Judge Andrew Napolitano believe he and Dick Cheney still should be prosecuted for war and other related crimes. The conservative American Bar Association sent George W. Bush three “white papers” in 2005-2006 that documented his distinct violations of the Constitution he had sworn to uphold.

Here at home, the political system is a two-party dictatorship whose gerrymandering results in most electoral districts being one-party fiefdoms. The two Parties block the freedom of third parties and independent candidates to have equal access to the ballots and to the debates. Another barrier to competitive democratic elections is big money, largely commercial in source, which marinates most politicians in cowardliness and sinecurism.

Our legislative and executive branches, at the federal and state levels, can fairly be called corporate regimes. This is corporatism where government is controlled by private economic power. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called this grip “fascism” in a formal message to Congress in 1938.

Corporatism shuts out the people and opens governmental largesse paid for by taxpayers to insatiable corporations.

CONTINUED HERE

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Let’s get two things straight.

 

1. Banning guns does not reduce crime. Crime goes UP when the law abiding citizen is disarmed.

 

2. The Second amendment is not about hunting and it’s not about target shooting. It’s about giving the government good reason to leave the citizen alone.

 

FIREARMS REFRESHER COURSE

1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.

2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.

3. Colt: The original point and click interface.

4. Gun control is not about guns; it’s about control.

5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?

6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.

7. Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.

8. If you don’t know your rights, you don’t have any.

9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.

10. The United States Constitution (c)1791. All Rights Reserved.

11. What part of “shall not be infringed” do you not understand?

12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the others.

13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.

14. Guns only have two enemies; rust and politicians.

15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.

16. You don’t shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive.

17. 911: Government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.

18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.

19. Criminals love gun control; it makes their jobs safer.

20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.

21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control them.

22. You have only the rights you are willing to fight for.

23. Enforce the gun control laws we ALREADY have; don’t make more.

24. When you remove the people’s right to bear arms, you create slaves.

25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.

IF YOU AGREE, PASS THIS “REFRESHER” ON TO TEN FREE CITIZENS.

Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

(Understand now why gun-grabbers want gun control so badly! )

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Visitors to Monticello don’t learn how Jefferson cultivated poppies, and his personal opium use may as well never have happened.

The American War on Drugs started with opium and it continues today. Deception is key to this kind of social control, along with the usual threats of mayhem. Ever since the passage of the Harrison Act made opium America’s first “illicit substance” in 1914, propaganda has proven itself most effective in the war on poppies. This has not been done so much by eradicating the poppy plant from the nation’s soil as by eradicating the poppy from the nation’s mind.

CONTINUED HERE

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The new president and Congress need something to help make this America again. They need you.

By Nat Hentoff

published: October 22, 2008

Two months after the 9/11 attacks, 25 teachers, retirees, lawyers, doctors, students, and nurses—none of them professional civil libertarians—formed the Bill of Rights Defense Committee in Northampton, Massachusetts. They knew the Bush-Cheney war on the Constitution had begun. 

That October 25, the White House had terrified Congress into rushing the Patriot Act into law. In the Senate, only Democrat Russ Feingold—accurately predicting the continuous rape of the Bill of Rights—voted against it, disobeying Democratic leader Tom Daschle, who desperately wanted to avoid the Republicans tarring the Democrats as unpatriotic.

The unintimidated 25 citizens of Northampton convinced more than 1,000 of their neighbors to sign a petition that, by the following May, motivated the Northampton City Council to unanimously pass a resolution mandating local police to inform the people when federal agents of Attorney General John Ashcroft were enforcing the Patriot Act in the town and its environs.

In the spirit of this nation’s founders, the resolution boldly directed: “Local law enforcement continues to preserve residents’ freedom of speech, religion, assembly, and privacy; rights to counsel and due process in judicial proceedings; and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures even if requested or authorized to infringe upon these rights by federal law enforcement acting under the . . . Patriot Act or orders of the Executive Branch.”

General Ashcroft was later to tell the House Judiciary Committee: “The last time I looked at September 11, an American street was a war zone.” Anyone on those streets could be the enemy.

As additional Massachusetts towns and the city councils of Ann Arbor and Denver took Northampton’s lead and passed similar resolutions, BORDC founder and director Nancy Talanian put together a masterful website to synchronize a growing national movement—bordc.org (on which I click every morning to find out the cities, towns, and states creating new committees)—and news stories from around the country on further administration raids on the Constitution. By now, more than 400 cities and towns—and eight states—have passed BORDC resolutions and continue to monitor local and state police and their congressional representatives.

This truly grassroots movement is a 21st-century revival of the Committees of Correspondence started in Boston by Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty in 1767, which became a news network throughout the colonies. Those committees reported the growing abuses by the King’s transplanted governors, customs officials, and troops of the Colonists’ individual rights, which were rooted deep in English history. In a 1773 secret meeting in Virginia, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other rebels committed a hanging offense by starting such a committee in their state.

In 1805, an American historian of the rise of the revolution, Mercy Otis Warren, wrote: “Perhaps no single step contributed so much to cement the union of the colonies, and the final acquisition of independence, as the establishment of the Committee of Correspondence.”

As I have often reported here over the years, the BORDC, while not igniting a revolution, has strengthened the resistance—locally, regionally, and nationally—to our own king’s war on the Constitution. And some references in the Congressional Record show that members of Congress are aware of BORDC members among their constituents.

But the war on the Constitution continues. While the Patriot Act has been somewhat watered down, and there are continuing American Civil Liberties Union lawsuits to bring deeper changes, much of the Patriot Act—not to mention a noxious stream of Bush executive orders—keeps the war on the Constitution thriving. For example, I’ll soon be reporting on efforts by Attorney General Michael Mukasey and FBI Director Robert Mueller to return to J. Edgar Hoover’s methods, with expanded FBI power to begin terrorism investigations of Americans without any evidence of wrongdoing.

Talanian, as the BORDC’s equivalent of Paul Revere, says: “These years of grassroots action to restore constitutional protections have led to increased oversight . . . but they have fallen short of the full restoration of constitutional rights and liberties.”

Therefore, a new BORDC “People’s Campaign for the Constitution” will “continue local organizing with a focus on the lawmakers in Washington—rather than city and county councils and state legislatures.” As Talanian emphasizes: “The new president, new Congress, and the 2009 expiration of Patriot Act provisions offer the best opportunity we have had . . . to change the direction our nation is taking.”

In a future column: the structure, organization, and resources (including a toolkit and database) of this BORDC rescue of the Constitution, as well as ways to get involved. Meanwhile, there is now available an essential, concise, and accurate blueprint, Talanian points out, “of how key anti-terrorism laws and policies enacted since September 11, 2001, affect Americans’ constitutional rights.”

The sizable booklet, The “War on Terror” and the Constitution, is organized around the Bush laws and policies—corresponding to sections of our Constitution—that directly affect our lives and those of others. Shown on each page are the breakdowns of what the Bush Tories have done to each part of the Constitution: For example, “Fourth Amendment: Right to Privacy: the Provisions of the Patriot Act/What They Say, What They Change/How Each One Can Affect You” is included as well as illustrative stories of the sneaky ways the Act is being used.

Take Section 206 of the Patriot Act: roving wiretaps by the FBI under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. How can that affect you? “There is no requirement that the FBI tap the line only if it knows that the intended target is present at the location . . . [this] allow[s] conversations of innocent bystanders who may be using the device to be wiretapped.” At their office. Or anywhere they use a phone or a computer.

Also included are key Supreme Court rulings on these laws and executive measures, with detailed notes that lead to more information. This publication should be in every place of learning, including graduate schools, and, as the new Congress begins, on the desk of every member.

To get a copy ($3, and wholesale prices for quantities), contact the Bill of Rights Defense Committee at info@bordc.org or 413-582-0110. You can order one online at bordc.org/store.php or download a printable order form at bordc.org/wholesale.pdf. It’s a sequel to Thomas Paine’s 1776 pamphlet, “Common Sense.”

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