ACLU to Obama: No More of the Same, Please

The ACLU has an ad in today's New York Times, asking President Obama, "What will it be, change or more of the same?". You can view it here.

Shorter version: Keep your promises, Mr. President. Try the 9/11 suspects in federal criminal court.

Remind the world that American stands for due process, justice and the rule of law.

There's still time to weigh in. You can send the President a message here. Obama needs to listen. For many of us, this could be his "pink slip" moment.

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    set up for 2012 (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by diogenes on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 12:39:54 PM EST
    The ACLU must know that this ad is pointless; it may mainly exist to allow Obama to set up a Sister Souljiah moment repudiating the ACLU and aligning himself with the silent majority for the 2010 and 2012 elections.

    Already there. (none / 0) (#9)
    by lentinel on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 05:50:21 PM EST
    Obama has already amply demonstrated that civil liberties is not something that engages his intellect - such as it is.

    Could he be making deals (none / 0) (#1)
    by Saul on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 10:01:52 AM EST
    with those who  oppose the federal trials and are on also the fence on voting for his medical bill.

    From what I've read (none / 0) (#2)
    by joanneleon on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 10:17:04 AM EST
    this has more to do with closing Guantanamo.  I've read that the administration feels that they need Lindsey Graham to help with the closing of Guantanamo, and that he strongly opposes civilian trials.

    Of course there may be more to it than that.

    Jane Mayer's piece on this subject is very informative.  Here's a relevant excerpt:

    At the White House, Emanuel, who is not a lawyer, opposed Holder's position on the 9/11 cases. He argued that the Administration needed the support of key Republicans to help close Guantánamo, and that a fight over Khalid Sheikh Mohammed could alienate them. "There was a lot of drama," the informed source said. Emanuel was particularly concerned with placating Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator from South Carolina, who was a leading proponent of military commissions, and who had helped Obama on other issues, such as the confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. "Rahm felt very, very strongly that it was a mistake to prosecute the 9/11 people in the federal courts, and that it was picking an unnecessary fight with the military-commission people," the informed source said. "Rahm had a good relationship with Graham, and believed Graham when he said that if you don't prosecute these people in military commissions I won't support the closing of Guantánamo. . . . Rahm said, `If we don't have Graham, we can't close Guantánamo, and it's on Eric!' "

    Rahm will be reincarnated as a window dresser (none / 0) (#4)
    by Salo on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 11:38:54 AM EST
    At Macy's.

    T/U for posting this link -- I'd meant to check (none / 0) (#5)
    by jawbone on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 11:54:39 AM EST
    what Jane Mayer had to say about recent developments, but forgot. Much appreciated and, oh, so on point.

    Sickening all the way around (none / 0) (#7)
    by ruffian on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 01:19:52 PM EST
    What never gets explained is 'why'. Why do they need Graham on board to close Gitmo?  And assuming for the sake of argument they do, why is closing Gitmo more important then taking the most appropriate legal action in the case of these trials?  Seems to me it is all about the politics - Obama promised to close Gitmo, and that makes that the most important thing, no matter what effect it has on other policies.

    I would rather stick to the legal principle of the federal trials, and say that Graham is blocking the closing of Gitmo.  Of course that would require a) sticking to a principle and b) not being nice to a Republican. Can't have that.


    I don't know why this would surprise anyone ... (none / 0) (#8)
    by nyrias on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 04:04:03 PM EST
    closing Gitmo is what Obama has said in front of national tv.

    Trying terrorists by federal court or military tribunal ... not many people care .. or even can tell the difference.

    Don't you think the choice is obvious?

    Plus, i have no clue why Graham is needed on board, but given those considerations, anything that helps closing gitmo a little easier would be the way to go.


    Missing in rhetoric (none / 0) (#11)
    by Politalkix on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 10:05:41 PM EST
    Even if one stuck to a principle and never cared about being "nice to a Republican", there still remains the little matter of allocating a lot of money (billion + dollars) for civil court trials. During such hard economic times, how easy do you think it is to tell people that billions of dollars have to be coughed up so that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others can stand civil court trials according to standards that will satisfy the ACLU?
    I am in support of civil court trials, however your simplistic rhetoric undermines any valid points you may have in this regard. Please understand that Schumer, Bloomberg and many Democrats (even in deep blue states) have already bailed out.
    The death blow was struck by New York's mayor, Michael Bloomberg, who had previously pledged his support to Holder. On January 27th, Bloomberg distanced himself from the Justice Department, saying that a trial in New York would be too expensive. For months, companies with downtown real-estate interests had been lobbying to stop the trial. Raymond Kelly, the commissioner of the New York Police Department, had fortified their arguments by providing upwardly spiralling estimates of the costs, which the federal government had promised to cover. In a matter of weeks, in what an Obama Administration official called a "classic City Hall jam job," the police department's projection of the trial costs went from a few hundred million dollars to a billion dollars.

    Senator Charles Schumer, of New York, quickly released a statement echoing Bloomberg; the wisdom of moving the trial away from lower Manhattan, he said, was "obvious." Then, on February 1st, Schumer told the Daily News that he opposed the idea of a 9/11 trial taking place anywhere in New York State. Officials in Pennsylvania and Virginia--the two other states where the 9/11 attacks occurred--began declaring their opposition to hosting the trials, too.


    First kill all the lawyers! (none / 0) (#3)
    by Salo on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 11:37:01 AM EST
    The security policies are the least of our worries. Anyone who follows politics knows that the tough guys  of the MIC run the firm.  

    The saddest thing is the abandonment of the PO and those sorts of things that are well within reach.  

    Amen, Salo (none / 0) (#10)
    by Yes2Truth on Sun Mar 07, 2010 at 09:18:34 PM EST

    Just one question.  Why do you THINK Obama's approval rating is still as high as it is among Democrats?

    IMO, a lot of it has to do with mass ignorance amongst the hoi polli and massive diffidence amongst the comfortably numb who are only a step or two away from being Republicans.


    Its because (none / 0) (#13)
    by Socraticsilence on Mon Mar 08, 2010 at 04:29:03 PM EST
    Obama's been pretty close to a centrist dem- which is what a majority of the party is, hence he's popular with Dems.