Tuesday, March 20, 2007

American Freedom Agenda: The Press Conference

The press conference on C-SPAN2 just aired. And it blew my mind.

This was not the Bush/Rove/Cheney administration monster, hungry for power, devouring our civil liberties. These were good men with the real thoughts of the founding fathers at the tips of their tongues (not theocracy). They want to restore our civil liberties. And they are conservative.

It just ended, they were talking to the audience about transpartisanship and not blindly following the president.

Here are some notes. Unquoted items are paraphrased.

Bruce Fein
"And those checks and balances and protections have eroded over the past few years."

AFA's 10 Stopping Principles:
  • Military Commissions (Judge, jury, executioner)

  • Habeas Corpus suspended

  • Unlawful Enemy Combatants

  • Warrantless Electronic Survaillence

  • State Secrets Privlidge (shield admin from accountability)

  • Presidential Signing Statements

  • Executive privlidge (Katrina, from blame)

  • Espianage Act (against the news media)

  • Extraordanary renditions, secret prisons

  • Inquisisational Identification of Terrorists, no due process

They would like to see every member of congress and all the candidates sign it.

Bruce Fein
"[Administration's policy] Has not been used to increase the safety of the American people at all."

We agree we are not yet a police state, but out founding fathers had much higher expectations for us than just avoiding a police state.

"We are protesting and launching this campaign"

Richard Viguerie
"Restore our constitutional government of checks and balances."

Bruce Fein
"The chief end of the state is to make men and women free...not to aggrandize the state"

David Keene
"We ratchet down our freedoms, and at the end of the conflict, we don't get them all back."
"All of the branches of government have been complicit...at the expense of a system that for over 200 years" has worked to preserve our freedom.

Bob Barr
"We cannot sit by and wait 30 years for court decisions," cannot wait until the end of a four year term to resstore the Bill of Rights.

Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) (Signed it right then and there)
Look what we could avoid if we didn't go to war without a declaration of war, look at what a mess we're in now.

Look at the threat from terrorists and "add the threat from the federal government."

"It's up to the people, it's up to congress, to rein in the executive branch."

American Freedom Agenda official website.
The American Freedom Agenda’s (AFA) mission is twofold: the enactment of a cluster of statutes that would restore the Constitution’s checks and balances as enshrined by the Founding Fathers; and, making the subject a staple of political campaigns and of foremost concern to Members of Congress and to voters and educators. Especially since 9/11, the executive branch has chronically usurped legislative or judicial power, and has repeatedly claimed that the President is the law. The constitutional grievances against the White House are chilling, reminiscent of the kingly abuses that provoked the Declaration of Independence.
Um, I can't argue with that. Actually, I'd argue for it.

The press release came out last Friday. And I can't find many opinions. And that pisses me off. I and many other bloggers piss and moan about our civil liberties. We sign petitions, make phone calls for change, and still watch them dissolve, sifting through our fingers like so much sand. And we criticize the conservatives that show up in guises of extreme evangelical or extreme bigotry, we criticize the blind followers of our president, the fool. And now I see conservatives doing what we say they should be doing, doing the job of the liberals in fact, and no one wants to speak up.

Good for them. Bad for us. But at least we're moving in the right direction.

Here's C-SPAN's site. I'll put up a link to the video when (if) they archive it.

UPDATE: C-SPAN has a link on this page but none of the links on that page are working. WTF?


Kay said...

Thanks for posting this. I can't wait to watch this one build momentum.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting your notes and the links. I caught a rebroadcast of that presser overnight and was looking for more details.

Anonymous said...

Ron Paul is the candidate we need in 2008. He's not liberal nor conservative, he's for the constitution above all else. He voted against the War, against future funding of the war, against unbalanced budgets, against corporate subsidies, and is not bought off by any special interests. I can't wait to see the republican debates with him in it!