Green Party leaders challenge the new Congress to restore the rule of law after a decade of constitutional violations and abuses of power by Presidents and other officials

Press release:

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders challenged Democrats and Republicans in the 112th Congress, as well as President Obama, to end a decade of reckless violations of the U.S. Constitution, international agreements, and other laws by the U.S. government and begin a new era of respect for the rule of law.

“The new Congress began with a reading of the Constitution in the U.S. House, but the document seems to be incomprehensible for many Representatives,” said Muhammed Malik, co-chair of the Miami-Dade Green Party in Florida, http://www.miamidadegreenparty.org. “The protections enshrined in the constitutional amendments and Article Six’s requirement that the U.S. honor treaties are not subject to the whims of Presidents, State Departments, the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration, or any other government body. If we don’t restore the rule of law now, we’re in danger of seeing the end of the U.S. as a republic and a free country.”

Greens listed examples of official lawlessness and disregard for rights since 2000:

The Obama Administration has maintained many of the Bush-Cheney abuses of the Constitution: denial of habeas corpus, detention of suspects for long periods without charges, persecution of whistleblowers, targeting of innocent Muslim and Arab individuals and organizations, and surveillance without warrant of U.S. citizens. The Obama Justice Department has refused to investigate and prosecute Bush-Cheney officials for torture and other crimes — including President Bush himself, who has boasted publicly of his approval for waterboarding.

Guantanamo and several ‘black sites’ remain open. The treatment of Khalid El-Masri (tortured under the U,S,’s extraordinary rendition program, later found to be innocent), PFC Bradley Manning (detained in solitary confinement but unconvicted for leaking classified material to Wikileaks: see http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2010/12/14/manning and http://www.psysr.org/about/programs/humanrights/gates-manning-letter.php), and other prisoners reveals increasing disregard for laws against torture in the U.S. Constitution and Geneva Conventions.

The Green Party of the U,S. endorsed impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) introduced articles of impeachment in December 2006, before joining the Green Party and becoming the 2008 Green presidential nominee.

Military action outside of immediate self-defense is prohibited under international law, but the Bush Administration launched the invasion of Iraq based on the neocon doctrine of ‘preemption,’ which is now embraced by both Democrats and Republicans. Some members of Congress have urged a military assault on Iran based on the same doctrine.

The U.S., under both Bush and Obama presidencies, has continued to politically support and fund Israel’s brutal treatment of Palestinians, which violates scores of UN Security Council resolutions and amounts to war crimes under international law.

……The Wikileaks cables have exposed extralegal actions and official lies, including U.S. airstrikes in Yemen (denied by President Obama), secret military operations in Pakistan, a secret agreement with Britain to allow U.S. bases in the UK to stockpile cluster bombs, and bribery and illegal surveillance to undermine opposition to U.S. climate change policies, http://www.fair.org/index.php?page=4215.

“Exposure of wrong-doing by government officials, which often requires publication of secret documents, is the responsibility of the press in a free society. The claim that Julian Assange doesn’t deserve First Amendment protections because he isn’t a credentialed reporter is unfounded, since the First Amendment covers everyone, not just professional journalists,” said Pat LaMarche, weekly columnist for Maine’s largest daily newspaper, The Bangor Daily News and 2004 Green nominee for Vice President. (See http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=372)

Irregularities in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections disenfranchised thousands of U.S. citizens, especially black, young, and low-income voters. The Supreme Court’s patently biased Bush v. Gore decision (2000), which handed the presidency to George W. Bush, held that no national right to vote exists.

Greens led the effort in 2004 to expose and challenge election irregularities in Ohio and New Mexico,http://www.iwantmyvote.com. Although two Republican operatives were convicted in January 2007 of election tampering in Cuyahoga County, OH, Congress has taken no action to protect voters’ rights.

Greens have argued that Section 2 of the 14th Amendment requires punishment for states that “abridge” voting rights. In the wake of the 2004 election, Asa Gordon, chair of the DC Statehood Green Party’s Electoral College Task Force, filed suit against the malapportionment of Electoral College votes under the U.S.’s winner-take-all election system, citing Section 2’s penalty clause and the legacy of racial disenfranchisement in southern states.

On January 4, the day before the first session of the 112th Congress, Gordon was granted an emergency presentation of arguments before U.S. District Court Judge Henry H. Kennedy challenging the seating of Representatives from southern states. Gordon’s motion is currently pending. (More information and documents:http://www.electors.us or contact Asa Gordon at 202-635-7926 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-635-7926      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-635-7926      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-635-7926      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-635-7926      end_of_the_skype_highlighting begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              202-635-7926      end_of_the_skype_highlighting)

Whole populations of the U.S. remain outside the U.S. Constitution’s coverage. The local laws of the District of Columbia are subject to Congress’s control and veto power, regardless of the will of DC residents. Whether Democrats or Republicans have been in control, the White House and Congress have ignored the repeated requests by the citizens of the nation’s capital, with its black majority, for full representation in Congress and statehood.

The U.S. has also ignored demands by the people of Puerto Rico for self-determination and independence, ignoring protests against U.S. Navy bomb detonations in Vieques, which have spread depleted uranium contamination, and unwanted laws and policies imposed on the island by the U.S. government.

“The Green Party calls for the end of the colonial treatment of people living in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and others who’ve been denied self-determination and self-government,” said Darryl! L.C. Moch, who serves on the steering committee of the DC Statehood Green Party, http://www.dcstatehoodgreen.org. “We support statehood for DC, http://www.gp.org/press/pr-state.php?ID=172. We support the 2005 draft resolution by the UN’s Special Committee on Decolonization calling on the U.S. to allow the Puerto Rican people to exercise fully their right to self-determination and independence, http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2005/gacol3121.doc.htm. Bipartisan inaction on DC and Puerto RIco are an affront to the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the U.S.’s own equal protection laws. It’s time to complete the unfinished business of the Civil Rights Movement and the national rights of U.S. colonies.”

10 thoughts on “Green Party leaders challenge the new Congress to restore the rule of law after a decade of constitutional violations and abuses of power by Presidents and other officials

  1. Kimberly Wilder

    I will be very interested to hear any feedback on this headline.

    My husband took the liberty of shortening it just a tad at our website.

    Really, who at national writes this stuff. And, how many people can get to the end of that headline/run-on sentence?

    😉

  2. Steven R Linnabary

    I have doubts that any reporter would bother to read beyond that headline.

    Lots of problems with this release. First, it is wayyyy too long! Second, it doesn’t cover one subject, but several. If a release is expected to be read (or better yet, printed) it has to be short and to the point. Not long and covering every plank of the GP platform.

    Third, a successful release has to be written in a style that uses common everyday language. This release is far too strident for a mainstream newspaper, except that parts of it might be used and taken out of context.

    Fourth, I doubt if many readers will find sympathy for Khalid El-Masri (name sounds foreign), but replacing his name with Bradley Manning (an American, also being tortured) MIGHT put a human kid-next-door face on another atrocity.

    Just trying to be constructive here. Hope nobody is offended.

    PEACE

  3. paulie

    My husband took the liberty of shortening it just a tad at our website.

    Your is better. And bonus points for working Taylor Dayne into it!

  4. Kimberly Wilder

    Paulie:

    Glad you liked the tie-in. When Ian asked for my opinion on his graphic, I couldn’t stop laughing. But, every once in awhile, I guess you have to get silly…

  5. paulie

    The headline in the email IPR got:

    Greens to 112th Congress: restore the rule of law after a decade of abuse of the Constitution

    It appears the headline we actually printed is the sub-headline that should have been part of the article, not the headline.

  6. Kimberly Wilder

    Well…

    I guess we are getting into the nitty gritty on this headline discussion. Partly, for me, because it is sleeting outside, and I am stuck inside playing around on the computer.

    But, to clarify…

    The headline someone put at IPR — the very long headline — is the same as the one used as a headline at gp.org.

    So, whatever. Someone at Green Party national got extra wordy. It is not the worst crime. But, just amused me as typical, political, hot air!

    😉

    For amusement, Ian and I scanned the IPR headlines. Very few are four lines. Though, those socialists often submit 2 1/2 line headlines.

    Our most adamant, political activist friend used to make titles such as (for the name of a simple coffeehouse): “The PeaceSmiths Topical, A-Typical, Folk Music, Poetry and Whatever Coffeehouse”.

    It mostly makes us laugh. And, sometimes, long names or long headlines are probably useful.

    -Kimberly

  7. paulie

    The headline someone put at IPR — the very long headline — is the same as the one used as a headline at gp.org.

    Yeah, I noticed that…

    And now, a word from Taylor Dayne…

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