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U.S. civil liberties at risk: ACLU chief

Jan. 24, 2007 at 12:04 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, Jan. 24 (UPI) -- The head of the American Civil Liberties Union warned Tuesday that U.S. civil liberties were under threat as never before from administration policies.

"For six years the policies of the Bush administration have threatened and undermined the very essence of a free and democratic America. The state of our civil liberties is precarious," ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero said in a statement.

"The Bush administration's policies in the 'war on terror' have undercut the American Constitution, eroding it and placing its bedrock principles in peril," Romero said. "Previous Congresses consistently turned a blind eye to the administration's unrelenting attempts to ignore or override civil liberties. Our Constitution and our civil liberties are under attack like never before in history."

"Whether it is eliminating one of the cornerstones of our Constitution, habeas corpus, or denying due process of law, or illegally spying on American citizens or engaging in the un-American and immoral practices of torture and extraordinary rendition, this administration deliberately and with callous disregard for the principles this nation holds dear tore at the very fabric of our Constitution. The 107th, 108th and 109th Congresses willfully allowed the administration a free hand and abdicated their responsibilities to the American people and the Constitution they swore to uphold," the ACLU chief said.

"It is time to end these abuses of power and immediately restore our basic civil liberties so arrogantly abrogated by the Bush administration," Romero said. "We must restore honor and respect to our Constitution and the American principles it embodies. Congress must act immediately to reassure the American people that their country will remain true to its founding principles of freedom, fairness and democracy. This Congress needs to act because, sadly, the damage to our core American values has already been done."

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