home

Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales met with the ACLU today in an effort by the group to bring the Patriot Act in line with the Constitution. The ACLU reports (by email, check their site later for the press release):

ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero addressed the most extreme provisions of the Patriot Act, including those that involve "sneak and peek" warrants, the so-called "library records" provision, and the overbroad definition of terrorism. These provisions came under heavy, bipartisan scrutiny from lawmakers in recent weeks, during Congressional hearings on the Patriot Act. Some parts of the act are set to sunset, or expire, this December.

The ACLU welcomed Gonazales participation, particularly since former AG John Ashcroft refused to meet with the group during his tenure. ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero says:

"It's a positive step to have an attorney general willing to engage the ACLU in a frank discussion of this controversial, problematic legislation," Romero said. "However, the real proof of whether we have a different Justice Department will be in what changes to the Patriot Act they are willing to offer and accept."

"Mr. Gonzales expressed an understanding that the administration's lack of transparency and failure to engage its critics have contributed to growing, bipartisan concerns. Most importantly, Mr. Gonzales signaled a willingness to consider changes to portions of the Patriot Act. We look forward to working with the attorney general -- and with the growing list of Republicans and conservative organizations that call for Patriot Act reforms -- to bring the legislation in line with the Constitution."

Details about constitutional problems with the Patriot Act are available on the ACLU's website here.

< New Medical Report: Inmates Likely Conscious After Execution Drugs Administered | DeLay Praises Newt's Contract on America >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft


  • Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#1)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 01:40:55 PM EST
    Gonzales is a liar and a war felon. The ACLU just got lied to, and nothing they want is ever going to come out of Gonzales' office. Nothing. I've got a $100 bill here to the local foodbank to any republican who points out to me in the future one thing the ACLU was given by this meeting today. Repubicans were lying (again) when they railed against big government. They love it and prove it every day. The party of Ronald Reagan and "getting government off the backs of the people." Sick joke.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#3)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:37:49 PM EST
    Is Mr. Romero suggesting that the Justice Department can choose not to accept changes in the law duly passed by congress and signed by the president?

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#2)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:39:21 PM EST
    deleted

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#4)
    by Pete Guither on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 02:54:35 PM EST
    Justpaul, No. But provisions of the Patriot Act are up for renewal, and if the Justice Dept. were willing to "accept" modifications to some of the more troubling parts that would go a long way toward making those changes happen in Congress.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#5)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:04:21 PM EST
    I would be really careful about any meeting with Gonzales because he may have the boys and girls shot someday. think that is a joke, do you?

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#6)
    by Sailor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 03:27:48 PM EST
    Fred, I'm not sure if that's a joke, but 'be careful shaking hands with gonzales, you never know where they've been.' might qualify;-)

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#7)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 05:50:16 PM EST
    It's interesting - will some people here have a nuclear meltdown if this actually leads to dialogue and change?

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#8)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 06:02:13 PM EST
    Paradox I've got a $100 bill here to the local foodbank to any republican who points out to me in the future one thing the ACLU was given by this meeting today. CREDIBILITY. Now, if you have any yourself, you will donate $100 to your local food bank, as you've promised.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#9)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 06:44:58 PM EST
    Bingo! You nailed it, Horse. Paradox, you are aptly named. Many here give to charity without fanfare. And maybe Gonzalez could teach the ACLU a thing or two about the Constitution; I refer, of course, to the "free establishment" clause in the 1st Amendment.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#10)
    by Sailor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 06:58:57 PM EST
    JCHFleetguy - gonzales is the guy who wrote the opinion on authorizing torture and presidential supremacy. Then he lied about it in front of congress. If he is willing to disavow his previous positions, I'd be willing to hear him out.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#11)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 07:03:32 PM EST
    Brother, in an ego driven world it is difficult to expect people to repent and confess (hence didnt expect President Clinton to tell truth until forced too). I will just go with working out anti-terrorism laws that will not lead to whining for the next period of time, and that actually work

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#12)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 11:16:37 PM EST
    Credibility? For what, talking to Abu Gonzales? Care to elaborate on that one? Are you suggesting that the ACLU prior to this meeting had no credibiltiy? That's pretty damn funny.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#13)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Wed Apr 13, 2005 at 11:23:56 PM EST
    Credibility because Abu Gonzales deigned to meet with them, but that nutcase Ashcroft did not, as if that maroon has gravitas? Crikey, that remains funny.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#14)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 05:43:45 AM EST
    It appears that "Speedy" Gonzales has hit the floor running! Oh Oh Oh yeah! Am I right or am I left !? Personally, I don't like the guy, however he appears more helpful than "Asscraft".

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#15)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 06:25:54 AM EST
    IF measures to curtail our freedom were accompanied by the same attention to every other area of homeland security, I might buy your arguments. However, has anyone noticed that the ONLY area Homeland Security is being enthusiastically enforced is encroachment on individual liberty. Is this not true, JustPaul. We sure can't bring cigarette lighters on planes (I'm sure terrorists have shifted their MO while we frantically think of ways we could have caught the train (or plane) that we missed already) but terrorists can hop right over our borders and poison, sabotage, blow up our chemical, water and electrical supplies and smuggle tons of weapons in through our ports. Corruption and incompetence abound. And some of you sleep at night feeling safe because the CIA/FBI/DOJ can sneak into your house while you're at work or shake down the town librarian? Wake up!

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#16)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 08:30:47 AM EST
    mfox, How did I get dragged in to your latest tirade? The only comment I have made on this issue was a question about what the ACLU officer was trying to say. Beyond that, I have no idea what "argument" you are referring to. However, I would note that based on your past posts, I doubt very much that you would approve of any attempt to more strongly enforce the law in those areas you now cite. I also doubt very much that anyone at Homeland Security has taken the view that they should focus on screwing people out of their civil liberties rather than trying to deal with real terrorist threats. This is, more likely, simply a result of your near-constant focus on whatever minor inconvenience you have suffered, or imagined that you suffered, or heard of someone imagining that they suffered, in the last 24 hours. On the flip side: Have you attempted to slip across the border with explosives lately? Or to poison the water supply? How easy was it? And is this a promise from you that when you hear about HSA closing off all access to the NYC resevoirs and watershed, you will stand up and cheer? When they start detaining people trying to cross the border for 72 hours to ensure sufficient time to thoroughly search their vehicle and their background for any possible threats to our water and our power stations, will you support them on this? Somehow I doubt it. Personally, I don't sleep that peacefully at night, period. I never have. But that doesn't have anything to do with sneak-and-peek; I'm simply a light sleeper easily awakened by outside noises. So what? And the fact that some of us don't constantly whine about every perceived or imagined violation of what you think are your civil liberties doesn't mean we aren't concerned by them. Some of us simply have better things to do with our time than join your hallelujah chorus.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#17)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 10:42:44 AM EST
    The ACLU is most dangerous US organization to the safety of American citizens that exisits today. If we are attacked again, I have no doubt the ACLU will have aided the terrorists in some fashion. I hope what Gonzales says to the ACLU is that I'm shutting you down for the good of the country.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#18)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 01:10:08 PM EST
    "Are you suggesting that the ACLU prior to this meeting had no credibiltiy?" You're catching on, Duck. The ACLU once defended freedom of speech, but over the past thirty years, the organization has suffered from what might charitably be called "mission creep", and has now become simply another tool of leftist orthodoxy. You know: "abortion, gooooood; religion, baaaaaaaaaad," etc.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 01:25:58 PM EST
    can you say "cheap and easy photo op"? this means nothing. a token meeting, to be followed by more of the same. gonazles is a lackey and yes-man, a shill for the company. not an ounce of progressive intelligence in his cranium.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#20)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 02:16:36 PM EST
    Doc, you've been hijacked by republican doublespeak. No one thinks that abortions are good. Some of us just think that it's a personal medical decision. That's like saying liberals think hysterectomies are good. Besides, I'll bet the ranch that for every black welfare mom with 3 or 4 kids from different dads, there's a female conservative whose had 3 or 4 abortions from 3 or 4 different guys so she could finish grad school and her family wouldn't be disgraced. Doc, all agencies get "mission creep". Especially the government. I thought it was the mission of conservatives to keep this in check - after all the government doesn't enjoy the benefit of presumed innocence. The United Nations, The ACLU. Two good ideas suffering from, I'll buy it, Mission creep. Remember, of course that all orgs raise money through marketing these days - and we know how marketing folks can distort a message. Clean them up - don't kick them out. We desperately need both.

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#21)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Thu Apr 14, 2005 at 02:52:44 PM EST
    Hey Doc, Thanks, and TL can appreciate I am not going to take "the personal medical decision" bait. (47% of abortions are performed on people who have had one before - great form of birth control). The ACLU actually fell off my radar on a free speech issue - the Skokie Nazi march way back - and have not recovered. But, is it encouraging that the AG and ACLU might actually hammer out changes to the Patriot Act so we dont have to litigate later? I think so

    Re: Attorney General Gonzales Meets With ACLU (none / 0) (#22)
    by Talkleft Visitor on Fri Apr 15, 2005 at 08:40:30 AM EST
    JustPaul, you challenged me to not name call or dismiss alternative views and I have accepted that challenge. You claim that you're a disillusioned progressive or centrist of some kind and percieve yourself as having no bias while perceiving me as having extensive bias. Please let me assure you that I put my ideas in the ring for the purpose of challenging them. So far, I am pleasantly surprised by the agreement with many for some of my ideas (which I constantly try to explain aren't out of someone's op-ed or blog thread but formed from my education and experiences and, frankly, my moral positions. I therefore want challenges. Logical ones that make me think about my position. Pigwiggle and I have certainly had our disagreements but he has made points that I have to admit have kept my little brain churning past bedtime. In my comment to you I wanted to point out that your question has an implied bias and confrontational tone that suggests to me (admittedly, my sensitivity may be over the top)that you are coming from a place of defending DOJ actions (undeservedly IMHO based on past performance) while implying that the ACLU was misguided or perhaps stupid. My point being that I'm willing to listen to you and debate challenges you pose to my ideas. Just don't make assumptions about my views and then speak about them in a derogatory way. For example, you say:
    However, I would note that based on your past posts, I doubt very much that you would approve of any attempt to more strongly enforce the law in those areas you now cite.
    Now I would argue that first, it's not up to me to approve stronger enforcement and corporate compliance with homeland security. And, I would ask, why you would think that it's okay for these things not being implemented - almost FOUR YEARS after 2001. I've seen enough shows with news teams walking around the grounds inside Chemical plants with WMD ingredients laying around that I don't feel safe. The truth to me is that Homeland Security falls on the wrong side of a cost/benefit analysis and therefore corporate entities will fight any encroachments on THEIR liberty with a bunch of PACs and lobbyists. Again, TO ME, it seems that politicians are behaving like their usual infantile selves - passing all these laws to look good at the expense of personal liberty and national security while not taking any decisive steps to battle corporate resistance due to their influence in D.C. So, JustPaul, I hope I've answered most of your questions. Looking forward to further input.