Hunter College – Speech Notes – PDF

2002 Hunter College Speech Notes

Abdeen Story-discussing all the cutbacks on civil liberties- patriot act, indef detentions, jailings without charges, wiretapping by ag; secrecy, end of checks and balances; attacks on non-citizen

what we could do about them-lawsuits, speaking out, writing, know your rights-all good

Friend spoke up–good—may win some small side battles-but not make real gains until people feel safer-and are safer—courts will accept govt claims; people will not object to the jailing of Muslims-japanese detention , and will give govt benefit of doubt in hope safer-

(argue that it wont-creating a fortress America impossible)

And then he said-will not feel safer as long as the US is making a permanent war-50 year war as Cheney described -on the countries and peoples of the world; as long as the Middle East is roiling-that is the policy-force and not guns and not

hate will increase and so will terror-and we will not be safe-and population of US and its courts will accept and endorse the rollback of our rights—recently did so in 3rd circuit


That is why I believe that one of the greatest threats to our safety and to our civil liberties in the  next period is the war on Iraq. I do not feel threatened by Iraq-not imminent, but I will from the consequences-already we are less safe

Look what has happened and what has been said: Kuwait-US soldier killed; French Ship in Yemen Port; Bali; CIA-similar threat level to prior to Sept 11-(CIA also pointed out Iraq with no choice-use weapons)

Evidence increase because of Iraq and Middle east-here is what has been said: US officals-not my speculation

Arab Aust

Blair on middle east AD-tom  paine

All this is to day an intimate and deep connection with what US war and foreign policy abroad and fight for civil liberties at home-not win our rights back without changing our role in world from unilateralism and war to mulitlateralism and peace-

Ifcare about our rights must care about what we doing in the world-care about war

Want to give you very briefly a broad overview of some of what I see as major aspects to the war on our liberty at home:

  1. First, concerned by the end of open ovemment-secrecy in what it is doing and what it is doing to others-Damon Keith 61 cir-case about closed immig hearings­ blanket-no indiv showing, no family-democ dies behind closed doors-

creppy memo–

secret evidence in deportation cutbacks in FOIA

names of post 9/11 detainees

secrecy of GITMO detainees-not even know of lawsuit Padilla  and hamdi-no access

Govt not want us to know what it is doing-cuts at heart of system where govt accountable to the people

2.. I am concerned about first amend rights, the right to speak and dissent freely

Again to paraphrase judge keith: democracy dies when we are not allowed to think and speak freely-intimidation and spying on our speaking is the order of the   day

–officials-ari-ashcroft TIPS

FBI guidelines-poltical and religious CIA operating

Criticism of govt looked at as unpatriotic

Name of Patriot act-most other countries call it what it is-internal security act

  1. I am concerned by the harsh treatment of non-citizens-decmoc dies when non-citzens are treated as non- people


–immigration hearings and secret evidence gitmo vs. hamdi and Padilla

indef detentions military tribunals

that is how they get away with it-us not them

  1. I am concerned with the Jailing of people without any charges of court review

–jailing of people apparently indefinitely because the President or John Ashcroft says so-Executive detention– Democracy Dies when exec authority is unchecked by the courts-

9/11 detainees-Turkmen-no names-minor visa violations-kept after agreed­

Gitmo–out in space-no court review–OAS Padilla and Hamdi-US citizens

Patriot Act provisions Police state—

Uness-until an investigaton-oct 15-tearful relatives More infor