Thursday, May 21, 2009

Respect for the Constitution

Dear ACLU Supporter,

Earlier today, President Obama delivered a major speech on torture, Guantánamo Bay, and military commissions.

That speech and the national debate it will spark in the weeks ahead wouldn't be happening without you.

Without your energy, your commitment to principle, and your determination to keep America safe and free, there would be no national conversation about ending policies and practices that defy the Constitution and undermine the rule of law.

We were pleased to hear President Obama speak so movingly about respect for the Constitution, about the critical importance of due process, and about the horrible violation of American values that torture represents.

We do, however, strongly disagree with the president that modifying Bush-era military commissions can solve their basic injustice. Any system designed to produce a pre-ordained outcome -- rather than a free and fair trial -- is irreparably unjust.

Furthermore, creating a system of indefinite detention -- holding detainees for years without facing charges -- is a fundamental violation of the Constitution.

In the debate the president set in motion today, you can count on the ACLU to hold firm in defense of core principles. With you by our side, we will keep working to totally dismantle the Bush system of injustice and to create an America we can be proud of again.


Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
American Civil Liberties Union

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