Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's Grade at 100? What About Our Grade?

This was sent from the ACLU director by email yesterday (Tuesday) - to make it more current (Tonite, Wed, EST) I've put the present tense into parenthesis...

You and I can’t let the issue of torture and accountability fade from view.

...President Obama (held) a news conference on the 100th day of his presidency. He (was) asked roughly 25 questions. We (made sure more than) one of them (was) about torture.

Here’s how (we helped and we can keep helping): (We) urge(d) White House correspondents for the major TV networks (and now let's urge the stations directors) to (keep) ask(ing) the president (and the nation these questions and related):

The so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” exposed in the torture memos include keeping detainees awake for up to 11 straight days, dousing them with cold water and placing them naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. One prisoner -- Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- was waterboarded 183 times in a month.

Do you believe that a country - or a president - can afford to look at shocking evidence of illegal torture and simply look away?

(and others)

Act now...

As you know, the ACLU forced the release of the Bush torture memos and sparked a nationwide debate about torture and accountability. And we’re keeping the pressure on:

* (Tuesday), a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the ACLU in an important case against Jeppesen Data Plan -- a subsidiary of Boeing. Jeppesen was responsible for organizing extraordinary rendition flights used repeatedly by the CIA to move detainees to countries where they could be tortured.
* In response to a long-standing ACLU Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the Department of Defense has agreed to release a substantial number of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel by May 28.
* In another crucial ACLU case, a federal judge has rejected the CIA’s attempt to withhold records related to the agency’s destruction of 92 videotapes that depicted the harsh interrogation of CIA prisoners.

These events are critical to helping the public understand the scope and scale of prisoner abuse. They are also crucial to holding senior officials accountable for authorizing or permitting such abuse.

Thanks for standing with us.

Sincerely,

Anthony D. Romero
Executive Director
ACLU
========
ALSO:

oneheartforpeace blogger's qualifier...for the Title article just below this one...

Since my focus is often on human rights - and particularly more & more concerned these days with the possibility of restoring our US Rule of Law - not just in plans, sentiments but in CITIZEN outcry along with that of many rights lawyers, activists, constituency plus legislators work, etc., I miss plenty. What with the push for the Special Prosecutor, there feels like no time at all to waste. Also, I am horrified, to be honest, at the continual call toward more war as indicated by the $ Congress has agreed to put into the same, etc., etc. - regardless of how much has already happened under that last administration.

I see as absolutely KEY to survival and to restoring our US morality - let alone leaving any kind of a decent legacy for our children: the strong WORLDWIDE/ movement toward nonviolence and alternatives to warfare.

So, I must admit I post mostly items that have that same flavor if not thrust.

However, there is a lot I miss in that "hunt"...so here's one which is a balance in this regard...Let the readers of this blog know how you respond or might add to this one, please by placing your COMMENTS below this post.

here

Obama's Grade at 100? What About Our Grade?
By Robert Borosage published April 29th, 2009

Grading a president after 100 days always strikes me as presumptuous. The only real grade is an incomplete. And as good teachers will tell you, letter grades—as opposed to written evaluations—are inherently arbitrary and misleading.One thing is clear. If we're grading on a curve, Barack Obama ranks near the top, just below FDR. In changing course, getting bold things done, setting a tone, lifting our spirits and confidence, we haven't seen anything like this since Roosevelt. Even Reagan, the great communicator, had a much harder time in his early days, starting with the limousine gridlock of his inaugural. He had to get shot to move his agenda.Rather than just grading the president, I suggest we might profitably assess our own 100 days. Obama has stormed the national and world stages in his first weeks. But how have we done—particularly the progressives who have such a large stake in the success of this president—in relation to Obama? He has demonstrated remarkable mastery of the powers of the presidency to lead the country. Have we mastered the power of the citizenry to empower the president?

Please read the rest of this article and Comment below... CLICK HERE

1 comment:

Connie L. Nash said...

The Friends Committee on National Legislation - FCNL - is well-worth a good look as often as possible if not ACTIONS So here are a few related to the post above...

*What Do You Think? Obama's First 100 Days*

Your new president took office 100 days ago tomorrow. Has he met your expectations? Please take two minutes to answer our short survey and let us know what you think:

http://action.fcnl.org/r/68855/58021/0. We'll report on the results next week.

*Now Is the Time: Urge Obama to Investigate Torture*

President Obama hasn't ruled out appointing an independent commission of inquiry to investigate torture. The Washington Post, along with FCNL and a number of national human rights organizations, is calling for a bipartisan commission composed of respected leaders to conduct a thorough review of the matter: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68856/58021/0.

Add your voice to the debate by urging the president to appoint an independent commission of inquiry: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68857/58021/0.

*Quote of the Week: U.S. Vet Argues More Troops Won't Bring More Peace to Afghanistan*

"To some measurable degree, in places like Afghanistan, increasing the U.S. presence actually increases the dimensions of the problem."
-- Colonel Andrew Bacevich (Ret.), in response to a question from Sen. Russ Feingold (WI) during Senate hearings last week. Read a partial transcript of these Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearings, which feature the testimony of veterans: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68858/58021/0. Find out more: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68859/58021/0.

*Nuclear Weapons Petition: Please Help Us Reach 10,000 Signatures*

Time is running out! Though we are pleased with the incredible response we've gotten on our petition urging senators to speak out in favor of nuclear disarmament, we still have more signatures to collect. Help us reach our goal of 10,000 by the end of April by signing the petition: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68860/58021/0 and asking three friends to sign also: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68861/58021/0.

*A Budget that Gives Us Hope: FCNL's March/April Washington Newsletter* Go above to see this one...and the same with the following...

*Cluster Bombs: Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun Publish Opinion Pieces Urging Ban*

Writing in the Boston Globe, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jody Williams urges the United States to put the same energy toward banning landmines and cluster bombs as it has toward banning nuclear weapons: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68863/58021/0. Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun published an op-ed by International Crisis Group members Donald Steinberg and Karl F. Inderfurth calling for the creation of a nonpartisan commission to review this country's decision to abstain from the cluster bomb ban treaty: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68864/58021/0.


*Kenya: FCNL Urges Efforts to Promote Stability*
Last year ethnic violence threatened to engulf Kenya. Fortunately, preventive diplomacy efforts led by former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan helped secure a political settlement before the violence became entrenched. Read FCNL's letter to Congress that warns of the risk of renewed violence in Kenya and urges support for critical programs that will promote peace and stability in that country: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68865/58021/0.

FCNL looks at Obama's "transformative budget" & *Tax Refunds for Peace!* Take a peek at FCNL's March/April Washington Newsletter to learn all about the president's budget and why we're so excited: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68862/58021/0.

While about 43 percent of your 2008 federal tax dollars went for war, 100 percent of your tax refund can go for peace! Donate your refund to FCNL to lobby Congress to shift budget priorities and reduce military spending: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68866/58021/0. You'll also be eligible for a charitable tax deduction for the amount of the gift.

*FCNL in the News: Comparing Cap and Trade and Carbon Tax* FCNL's Energy and Environment lobbyist Devin Helfrich co-wrote this article: http://action.fcnl.org/r/68867/58021/0 that compares the cap-and-trade provisions of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 with a simple alternative: a carbon tax embodied in Rep. John Larson's America's Energy Security Trust Fund Act of 2009:http://action.fcnl.org/r/68868/58021/0.