I’ve been a card-carrying member of the ACLU for the past three years, having done a volunteer stint as the Chief Geek and co-captain of the volunteer Legal Observers Program at the ACLU Greater Pittsburgh Chapter.
In all that time, it amazed me how much the organization did for people of all walks of life, whether their grievance against the government was legitimate or simply some half-baked theory stemming from a misunderstanding of what one’s constitutional rights really are.
I am very proud of the volunteering that I did and proud to be a part of an organization that is willing to do the unpopular thing when it’s the right thing to do.
With the ACLU taking aim at Donald Rumsfeld, I am again proud that I renewed my membership and with my dues, are going after the root source of a truly grave threat to society.
Though I highly doubt that this decision will turn into a popular one, it is still the right thing to do, and one that not many organizations are in the position to take on.
If you holistically examine the policies of this government, you begin to notice patterns… patterns that suggest that the torture abuses that happened in Iraq were merely the tip of the iceberg. Those incidents in Iraq was not the result of misbehavior of a few soldiers (as the government would like us all to believe), but rather a widespread assualt against any principle of law that might curtail the presumed efficacy of military-style investigations.
One need only to contemplate the similarities between the abuses at Guantanamo with the acts of torture perpetrated halfway around the world to realize that the justice department no longer practices nor preaches anything of the sort. And what with the confirmation of a living torture-apologist, it is quite apparent that the rule of law has been turned into an optional set of guideliness in campaign against “terror” that has blantantly gone awry.
If these remote incidents don’t suade you, consider the plight of Canadian Maher Arar and you’ll realize that Rumsfeld and Ashcroft (and now Gonzales) have followed a broken moral compass, leading moral decay of services that perhaps once were regarded with integrity.
Now it looks like it will take the ACLU to fight for the honor and dignity of the military and justice departments that Rumseld and co. have so brazenly dispensed with.