Sunday, June 03, 2007

Maryland ACLU = Good / Dick Cheney = Bad

A Picture of yours truly with Susan Goehring, Maryland ACLU Executive Director.

Tonight, the furious blogger had a rare respite from the daily frustration of discovering yet another Bush administration felony. I had the great pleasure of attending the Maryland Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union's 75th Anniversary at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore (Home of the Ravens).

ACLU National President Anthony Romero delivered his usual masterpiece with his trademark style of injecting paradoxical humor to make a deadly serious point. He used an anecdote which invoked the writings of a staunch opponent of the ACLU to point out the organization's value to our Democracy. He then smoothly transitioned into a speech which both invigorated the faithful and educated audience members with lesser knowledge of the ACLU's history and purpose.

Unfortunately, there are those who don't fully comprehend the value of the ACLU. Humor me while I drift off into one of my angry rants to make a necessary point:

Shortly after the Bush Administration seized power, Vice President Cheney had a meeting with a group of people to devise an energy policy for the United States. It was widely believed that the group included persons who stood to make significant financial gains if the policy were to steer this country towards a greater dependence on fossil fuels, particularly oil. When a request was made to make the documents and participants from the meeting public, Vice President Cheney argued that the American people did not have a right to know who was at the energy policy meeting or what was discussed. Several government watchdog groups fought a long legal battle and ended up losing when the Supreme Court ruled that, we the people, have no right to know what our leaders are doing, allegedly on our behalf. It was eventually discovered that officials from Exxon Mobil Corp., Conoco (before its merger with Phillips), Shell Oil Co. and BP America Inc. met in the White House complex and developed the national energy policy, parts of which became law.

Fast forward a few years and we have the Patriot Act, government electronic eavesdropping, and the warrantless opening of citizen's mail.

There is but one conclusion that can be reached. The Government now has an exclusive right to Privacy and the People have none. In a country where the exact opposite intention was spelled out plainly in the constitution, our rights have been turned inside out. We are now more dependent on fossil fuel and paying the highest price for it in this nations history. Yet we have no right to know who was involved or what was discussed at the meeting that got us here?

The Government has a right to privacy, we have none!

Regardless of what you think of the ACLU, take your chances with organizations that fight Government excesses, not the other way around.

No comments: