Earnest entry of the day: Find Habeas Corpus!

I am a card-carrying ACLU pinko liberal (well, not so much pinko) and proud of it.

And while the ACLU has gotten a bit twee by creating a cartoon character named Habeas Corpus and announcing he's gone missing, the sentiment is dead on.

Go here and sign the petition. The ACLU wants to deliver 100,000 signatures to Congress to restore HC and due process. The petition will read:

To My Members of Congress:
The Constitution and due process are in danger in America, as the Bush administration continues to run roughshod over our most fundamental constitutional rights.
We can no longer stand on the sidelines while the president extinguishes the light of American values, our civil liberties, and respect for law.
The America we know is disappearing, and the time to reverse this trend is now. I urge you to act immediately to:
1. Restore habeas corpus and due process.
2. Pass the Restoring the Constitution Act of 2007.
3. End torture and abuse in secret prisons.
4. Stop extraordinary rendition: secretly kidnapping people and sending them to countries that torture.
5. Close the detention center at Guantánamo Bay and give those held there access to justice.
6. Investigate wrongdoing and ensure those who broke the law are held accountable.
7. Restore American values and the rule of law.
Our commitment to freedom and fairness has made America the great country that it is today.
That is why we’ve come together to demand that you act immediately to preserve the hard-won rights that define us as a nation.
I stand with the ACLU and my fellow Americans, in person or in spirit, as we gather in Washington to restore our America this June 26, 2007.

As I noted when I signed the petition, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are designed for our protection when we are under threat or stress. They are the rules we have all agreed to abide by. To blithely strip them away at the first signs of danger or concern — or even the second or third signs — means we really didn't believe in them much anyhow. What's the point of standing up for a country which, as soon as it comes under threat, revokes its rights and regulations? What are you really defending, if the things that are meant to protect us all are stripped away? I don't care about a Wal-Marted, gas-guzzling, all for me and none for you, stock optioned, corporate culture, evangelic-crazed United States of America. That's not the country I want to live in, and that's not the one the authors of the Constitution intended for us to have. This is a place that's supposed to be strong enough to embrace the unknown, and make it part of our story. So let's get back to the kind of place that makes that possible.

And for God's sake, join the frickin' ACLU already. You may not like everything they do, but they'll be there for you if you need them. Their only client is the Constitution, and what better purpose is there than that?

P.S. In case you haven't seen this video, set aside about 45 minutes and be prepared to learn how to protect some of your most basic — and easily intruded upon — rights.


  1. Renee on 5/08/07 at 9:06 am

    [this is good] Found you as I was posting on This American Life’s “Habeas Schmabeas” this morning.  Good stuff.  Important stuff.

  2. Armchair News on 5/08/07 at 7:17 pm

    Thanks, Renee!

    I love me some Ira Glass, too.