Assassinations, Spying and The Constitution: ACLU President Susan Herman Talks Big Government Taking Liberties

"All of our elected representatives have to hear from a broad cross section of liberals, libertarians, conservatives--people who just say, 'This is too much big government. We want our government back,'" says American Civil Liberties Union President Susan Herman, author of the new book Taking Liberties: The War on Terror and the Erosion of American Democracy.

How much has the police state expanded since 9/11, and is there any way to stop it? Herman sat down with Reason.tv Editor-in-Chief Nick Gillespie to discuss the this and other questions surrounding the state of liberty in America. Herman notes that while there have been a few minor changes in policy, for the most part there's been a remarkable continuity between the Bush and Obama administrations in terms of their disregard for civil liberties. She makes the case that liberals must make alliances with libertarians and pro-liberty conservatives like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson if there's any hope of curbing the ever-expanding police state.

She also discusses the recent assassination of American citizen Anwar Al-Awlaki and the ACLU's role in representing Al-Awlaki's father in court. 

Interview by Nick Gillespie. Edited by Zach Weissmueller.

Approximately 17 minutes.

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  • Colin||

    Does she talk about how ACLU hid under their desks during the McCarthy era, when our civil liberties were the most threatened?

    Thought not.

  • Suki||

    The McCarthy era is one of the most fertile eras for the Useful Idiots. Just what exactly bad happened then?

  • ­­||

    Whole movie studios chose not to associate professionally with certain people. It was like the Holocaust, only worse.

  • Gojira||

    Yep, that was all that happened. There was absolutely no government panels calling people up, telling studios to blacklist certain people, grilling people on their constitutionally protected right to believe whatever they want to believe.

    Never happened.

  • ||

    I'm more interested in where the ACLU was when the GCA of 1968 was passed? Or the Clinton Gun Ban?

  • Suki||

    If by "believe whatever they want to believe" you mean actively spying for the Soviet union and helping them take over the USA, then your sarcasm is valid.

  • Gojira||

    Absolutely. Everyone put through that ringer were Soviet spies. It's a shame the army felt differently when he accused them, and they shut him down.

    The only thing that could defeat the mighty American superpower was a bunch of bisexual actors relaying sensitive gov't information out of Hollywood.

  • Suki||

    Name one innocent person who was called before the McCarthy committee.

  • Gojira||

    Um, the US Army Signal Corps? He investigated them over and over again, couldn't get the dirt he wanted, then doctored a photograph and forged a fake memo from Hoover to try and cover his tracks when the army called him on his bullshit. All of that came out in the hearings.

  • ||

    McCarthy being an asshole =/= his efforts were a waste of time.

  • Gojira||

    I'm responding to Suki's absurd belief that every single person who was ever called up before McCarthy was a Soviet spy.

    Plenty of people on the "grey list" were blacklisted simply because they refused to name names (in some instances because they insisted they had never been to any CP meetings, and thus didn't know the names), and were then deemed "uncooperative".

    There are a lot of people who simply plead the 5th or refused to rat others out, who were blacklisted. Suki is a moron, unless she counts pleading the 5th as = "guilty", and "I don't want to rat on my friends" = being a Soviet spy.

  • ||

    lots of innocents were grilled.

    however, the prevailing meme on the left is that the whole thing was unjustified and ditto for HUAC etc.

    however, the venona transcripts (probably right up there with nag hammadi in regards to important document finds) proved beyond even a shadow of a doubt that the threat was real, that there were LOTS of actual soviet agents, and far more useless idiots doing their bidding, etc.

    the ability of the left to excuse soviet atrocities and aid them in their endeavours is hard to underemphasize

    let's also not forget the whole duranty thing at the NYT, the "paper of record"

  • Suki||

    And they go beyond forgiveness when they promote the ACLU as some sort of nice, benevolent protector of anybody's rights.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Worse than the Holocaust?

    Tell us you were being sarcastic...

  • ||

    Talk? She could write an entire second book about all the ways her organization has buried it's head in the sand over the past sixty years with regards to a whole host of issues.

    Why is reason plugging this book anyway? fence sitters who wander in here and see this article are going to get the wrong impression and think that the ACLU is somehow fully consistent with libertarian philosophy.

    The article should at least drop some sort of hint about all of the ACLU's shortcomings...a disclaimer...something.

  • Tonio||

    So frickin' what? That was then; this is now. The same people are not in charge of the ACLU; most of them are dead.

  • Zeb||

    So the fuck what? The ACLU certainly has its shortcomings, but it does a lot of good stuff. Acknowledging the good things that they do does not imply that they are perfect. Why does some asshole always pop up to make a comment like this whenever the ACLU is mentioned?

  • Audrey the Liberal||

    "Why does some asshole always pop up to make a comment like this whenever the ACLU is mentioned?"TEAM RED

  • Realist||

    And the asshole Gingrich will break all records if elected.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Not unless Obama breaks them first...

  • robc||

    Does she support the fundamental civil right to reap 100% of the benefits of my labor?

  • ||

    Maybe they shouldn't have pissed away their credibility by tirelessly defending the "right" of thin-skinned imbeciles to pitch a hissy fit over Christmas decorations at City Hall and similar crimes against humanity.

  • Suki||

    +1

  • sarcasmic||

    aye

  • affenkopf||

    Government money shouldn't be spend on religious decorations. Period. Fuck the Christfags who disagree.

  • Sparky||

    What about all the atheists that don't give a shit what somebody's decorations are called?

  • Suki||

    Do those exist?

  • Sparky||

    Well I'm one so, yeah we do. I couldn't care less if people want to put Christmas stuff all over the damn place and call it Christmas stuff. It doesn't actively hinder me from going on with my life.

  • ||

    Present.

  • A Serious Man||

    And what if a group of citizens privately donated the decorations to the city? Should the city be allowed to put them up?

    I say yes, since it's no big deal and people like the ACLU just want to shit on a completely inoffensive and harmless gesture just for notoriety and donations.

  • Sparky||

    It's like they're intentionally feeding Fox News' WAR ON CHRISTMAS bullshitathon. I like watching Fox but they really need to get over the Christmas stuff.

  • A Serious Man||

    As far as the establishment clause goes I draw the line at laws that actually compel people to behave in a religious manner contrary to their conscience.

    No one forces to you celebrate Christmas, that it is such a big deal in this country is simply a reflection of religious demographics. So if some city wants to put up privately donated decorations with some religious connotation, I say whatever, it has no bearing whatsoever on my freedom to worship or not worship.

  • ||

    So it's majority rule all the way down, eh?

  • ||

    people like the ACLU just want to shit on a completely inoffensive and harmless gesture just for notoriety and donations

    Total bullshit. People. Are. Offended. Not you, obviously. Not the usual theocons here. But other people who also have rights.

    You have no clue about how the ACLU works. They don't just gin up cases on their own. People who feel their rights have been violated come to them for help.

    Rent your own damn lot and put up your own damn nativity, menorah, graven idol, whatever.

  • Sparky||

    So you're ok with using force to make someone else stop doing what you don't like then? Noted.

  • Tonio||

    Government money shouldn't be spend on religious decorations. FTFY.

    But if government must decorate it should do so in such a fashion as to avoid violating the establishment clause.

  • robc||

    Christmas decorations dont establish a state church.

  • ||

    Sez you.

  • A Serious Man||

    Does it violate the non-agression principle if none of your taxpayer money is funding it? Clearly not, nor are you in any way compelled to put up decorations yourself or celebrate Christmas.

  • ||

    Your word for the day: imprimatur.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Agreed on the government-money angle, but what if private donations are used?

  • ||

    Hey, come on now!

    Everyone knows the right to wear a tuxedo in your high school yearbook photo is one of our most cherished personal freedoms

  • Zeb||

    Every fucking town and city in the country puts up Christmas decorations. If that was a battle the ACLU was fighting, they lost.
    Things like putting the 10 commandments in a court house is a whole different matter.

    In any case, as long as they are working to prevent the government from doing something, I'm pretty OK with it. It the advocates who want the government to do things that I am worried about. The ACLU is great. Show me something they have done that is harmful.

  • ||

    I have a really hard time taking anyone from the ACLU seriously considering the ACLU's horrendous track record on so many different issues.

  • Suki||

    Since when does ACLU = small government? It was founded by a Communist and still wants Communism to rule.

  • Tonio||

    So what, Suki? See my 4:36 above; also applies to you.

    Got linky?

  • Suki||

    My God, find the info on Roger Nash Baldwin yourself.

  • Sevo||

    "America's greatest civil libertarian was initially also a staunch defender of Communist Russia, deferred to the U.S. government over the internment of Japanese Americans, and openly admired J. Edgar Hoover and Douglas MacArthur."
    http://books.google.com/books/.....wlIE4jo-MC
    Yep, a whacko, but broken clocks...

  • Zeb||

    Fuck off, you empty headed little sockpuppet.

  • Suki||

    Grownups talking here. Go share the new words you learned in the locker room with your friends at OWS.

  • nj||

    Conservatives like Suki amuse.

    Sure the ACLU is flawed, but I am glad they exist.

  • nj||

    Conservatives like Suki amuse.

    Sure the ACLU is flawed, but I am glad they exist.

  • ||

    And how's that whole "shall not be infringed" thing going?

  • Tonio||

    As I've stated here many times before, they can't be all things to all people at all times.

    Better question: have they ever worked AGAINST the second? No, didn't think so. That's like taking NRA to task for not being into the First. Their organization; their money; their choices.

  • robc||

    If they were named the American first amendment union, I would agree.

    But CL covers EVERYONE civil liberty, including some they are outright hostile too.

  • robc||

    EVERY not EVERYONE

  • ||

    Their not even consistent on the first amendment.

    They've been conspicuously silent with regards to the the OCS "dear colleagues" mandate.

    Given their history, you'd think they'd be all over that one, but they aren't because that wouldn't be politically correct and probably wouldn't score them any additional money or publicity points.

  • ||

    They're

  • A Serious Man||

    So I take it that this organization dedicated to defending the Bill of Rights has fought tooth and nail for the Second Amendment, right?

  • ||

    Beat me to it. Fucking ACLU speakers crying bloody murder over school board complains about some student's political views being posted in a school opinion column while proclaiming the Second Amendment to be (selectively) either 1) irrelevant, 2) collective, or 3)really, really irrelevant.

  • A Serious Man||

    Really, I've known plenty of ACLU loving liberals that say they cherish civil liberties. Okay, great, I say, but what about guns, which the Founding Fathers went out of their way to mention and protect?

    If you're going to take the bullshit "living, breathing document" stance to justify limiting the Second Amendment, then why shouldn't the First Amendment be given similar treatment? Clearly just as the Founding Fathers never anticipated the machine gun or the high ammo capacity pistol, neither did they envision nuclear weapons, the internet, and other technology that can be used to threaten security. So why can't Congress modify the First Amendment to contemporary times if its for the General Welfare (another bullshit argument that justifies rampant statism)?

  • ||

    You're assuming logical consistency and actual constitutionalism should be expected of these people; they're progressives, for Christ's sake. For all their good work, the ACLU is still full of shit to an unfortunate degree.

    When a liberal spends an hour bitching about McCarthy's PMG WITCH HUNTS, and then asks me whether I like militias when I ask him what his opinion on the Second Amendment is, I give up. There's just no point.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    While I obviously agree with you on the ACLU and the 2nd Amendment, the scope of this interview was limited to the Patriot Act and the GWoT. Turning it unnecessarily adversarial would not have been helpful.

    Having said that, she's the ACLU president so it would be nice to hear her on the topic if they ever get her for a broader interview.

  • ||

    Which they won't, because they'll decline.

  • J. Napolitano||

    The Constitution is not a "living, breathing document"; quite the opposite: it is a dead letter.

  • mafia rpg||

    Clearly just as the Founding Fathers never anticipated...

    Sure they did, thats why the Constitution can be amended.

  • Tonio||

    So all the good they've done has been for naught and you demonize them for their choice to sit out on one issue. WTF is it with you people?

  • robc||

    They dont have to spend money on cases for every civil liberty, but they should be outspoken in favor of them all.

  • ||

    Says you. Thanks for defining their needs. Do you support them financially? Ever been a member of a local chapter? STFU if you're not a stakeholder.

    I mean, srsly, you're just like Tony/Max saying "Libertarians should..."

  • ||

    You fighting against a foolish knee-jerk reaction to the ACLU, Tonio. I wouldn't waste your time.

  • robc||

    Its not foolish. I want them to spend a significant amount of time repealing the 16th amendment.

  • robc||

    ^^^The single biggest violation of civil liberties since slavery ended.

  • ||

    It is foolish, rob. No organization is perfect.

  • robc||

    Im not saying that. But is it unreasonable to ask them to address the bigger issues?

    And not be openly hostile to them? I bet a large percent of ACLU shareholders support income taxation.

    FUCK OFF SLAVERS.

    Its literally like if they had existed in 1820 and werent abolitionists.

  • Gojira||

    To be fair, I don't think many people have the same thing in mind that we do when you talk about what is or is not the "bigger issues".

  • robc||

    To be fair, those people are wrong. And Im gonna call them on it. They are fucking slavers.

  • Gojira||

    Look, I hear you. But you're setting yourself up for a lot of disappointment in life if you're going to go around being perpetually angry that every mass-membership organization doesn't share your exact views on the role of government in society.

  • robc||

    Im okay with that.

  • robc||

    There name is the American Civil Liberties Union.

    They should therefore support EVERY civil liberty for Americans.

    What is so fucking hard to understand about that?

  • ||

    I don't think you get it. The point is that it's an organization that claims to be a paragon-guardsman of civil liberties and the Constitution, then shits on the Second, selectively defends the 4th, and expects people to believe them when they spend thousands of dollars on ads insisting claims they're not faithful to the Bill of Rights in its entirely are bullshit.

    Congratulations and thank you to the ACLU for their pro-liberty advocacy and cases, but fuck them for their hypocrisy.

  • ||

    They're not even consistent in their defence of the first amendment. Not by a long shot.

  • ||

    Do you support them financially? Ever been a member of a local chapter? STFU if you're not a stakeholder.

    Right, because if you don't give money to an organization you have no right to criticize them.

  • ||

    Except nobody heres said all the good they've done is for naught. Not a single person. That doesn't mean we're not going to point how full of shit the ACLU spends half its time being.

  • A Serious Man||

    Look, if they fight against things like indefinite detention, torture, and illegal surveillance, then that's good, and I acknowledge their contributions there.

    But at the same time when I hear their absurd position on gun rights and their crusade to protect small town people from nativity scenes, that's when I get a bit pissed at their lack of consistency and perspective.

  • Zeb||

    So what? They don't fight against 2nd amendment rights. Different organizations have different priorities. You can't do everything. Also, switching to a strong pro-gun rights stance would really fuck up their fundraising base. I'd rather have the ACLU exist and do what they do than support gun rights strongly and go out of business.

  • ||

    Nick should totally ask her, out of the blue, ... "what about the Second Amendment? Or did your pinko ass miss that part of the Constitution, Mrs. Disingenuous?"

  • Gojira||

    ACLU = American Communists Like Unions

  • Tonio||

    ACLU has done more real, positive good for civil rights than reason.com. Just sayin. Which is not to slam reason.com; they're not a legal advocacy group. Just like the NRA doesn't get criticized for sitting out on First Amendment battles.

  • robc||

    If they were named the American Some Civil Liberties Union...blah blah blah, Im repeating myself just like you are.

  • Gojira||

    But the NRA doesn't give a shit about the other amendments in their platform; they're a single-issue organization. Which the ACLU specifically pretends not to be. In fact, some of the NRA types I know wouldn't be too sad if we jettisoned several amendments which they are convinced only exist to give "criminals" (re: minorities) a loophole to not get convicted.

    I'm not denigrating their good work. They have done more to help than hurt, because the cases they win, great, and the ones they don't take up, at least they aren't actively harming the cause.

    But they are hypocritical bastards about a lot of things.

  • ||

    And they suck the oxygen away from orgs that support the entire BoR.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "Well, why would anybody except a terrorist want to know anything about Osama bin Laden?"

    Gillespie's delivery is so dry I think Herman's kidneys began to shut down and she started to answer the question, unsure if it was genuine.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    12:30 Gillespie asks her if she voted for Obama in 2008, and she almost answered but caught herself.

  • ||

    I'll bet she did. And I'll bet she's a solid, block liberal, even if she's genuinely disappointed in Obama.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I have no doubt, but she didn't answer.

  • CatoTheElder||

    She might have voted for fellow ACLU'er Bob Barr, but I rather doubt it.

  • robc||

    This is a good point. What percent of the ACLU voted for Barr? And if they didnt, can they defend their vote?

    I think not.

  • Neil Chase||

    In this interview they talk of the "rubber stamping" of warrants by the courts but they fail to discuss why such a high percentage are approved! Simply stated, when the court is approached with a request by the intelligence community, there is an exceptional burden on those requesting the warrant to have all in order - much more so than say a police officer seeking a warrant to search a citizens home for a pirated movie. Relax, if your not a terrorist, you've probably got nothing to fear here other than the fear mongering ACLU.

  • Gojira||

    Relax, if your not a terrorist, you've probably got nothing to fear...

    The fact that you seriously used that argument made my day. Thank you.

  • ||

    Uhhh I actually thought that was sarcasm...kinda. No one is stupid enough to use that seriously and still breath on their own, right?

  • ||

    How much time does the ACLU spend fighting compulsory breathalyzers for student spectators at high school sporting events, compared to the time the spend fighting to stop the opening prayers?

    Disclaimer: I am ir- if not anti- religious. I just don't give a shit about the bozos who think their favorite sky fairy is going to help them win a basketball game, or the people who wet their fucking pants over it. They can all kiss my ass.

  • robc||

    Im repeating what I said above and bolding for emphasis:

    Its literally like if they had existed in 1820 and werent abolitionists.

  • ||

    "We're the American Civil Liberties Union, and if we feel like it, we'll fight for whichever of your rights we think have properly been granted you by the State. Send a check, today."

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "She makes the case that liberals must make alliances with libertarians and pro-liberty conservatives like Ron Paul and Gary Johnson if there's any hope of curbing the ever-expanding police state."

    Then she's going to have no success whatsoever.
    Why turn to the political philosophy that revolves around the notion of government authoritarianism as being vital to society to peel back government power?

  • Reason Commentators||

    If you support the ACLU in any way, you are certainly a communist, and most likely a black on welfare.

  • ||

    Any examples of anybody here saying you have to be a red or black and/or on welfare to support the ACLU in any way?

    Didn't think so.

  • ||

    Y'all keep asking why didnt Nick ask this or that. No doubt she agreed to the interview on condition that he not broadside her and expose the ACLU's obvious hypocrisy and failings.

  • ||

    The President of the American Civil Liberties Unions isn't going to walk out on an interviewer, even if he started broadsiding her. But they shouldn't alienate the ACLUers anyway. It's not like we're going to be able to fix them, eh?

  • RyanXXX||

    Talk about letting the perfect be the enemy of the good, guys. Yikes

    Obviously, since the ACLU doesn't defend EVERYTHING WE BELIEVE IN, they are worthless and have never done any good. Do I have you right?

  • robc||

    NO ONE criticized the good they have done.

  • ||

    the ACLU is imperfect and selective in the rights they choose to support

    big news there. film at 11.

    obviously, the ACLU has been weak as fuck on the 2nd amendment

    imo, it's probably because they know the left butters their bread, and they don't want to piss off the left, who (at least historically) has strongly been on the anticivil rights side of the RKBA

    shocking

    fwiw, i once had a ACLU explain something to me that was shocking initially, but as a pragmatist it actually makes a lot of sense to me

    he said that sometimes, if not often, the ACLU takes a position that even the majority may not agree with IN THEORY, however they see it as 'their job' to push at stuff from the civil liberties side, to offer a counterpoint to govt.

    iow, it's much like a defense attorney. he may not believe his client is innocent, or in some cases, he may be certain his client is guilty as fuck, but it's his job to get the best possible outcome on the side of his client, even if that means acquittal

    it's not his job to fair, impartial, or reasonable. it's his job to be a zealous advocate

    that , imo, explains the ACLU

  • ||

    that also explains unions imo

    zealous advocates, regardless (in many cases) of the underlying validity of the cause

  • robc||

    No, if the ACLU was like a defense attorney, they would be better.

    Take the case, even if you hate it. A defense attorney should never be pragmatic - "well, it would be best if this serial killer loses, so I dont want to challenge the prosecution too hard". That is pragmatism. Instead, defense attorneys should support their clients as far as they can without ethical or legal violations.

    And the ACLU should defend civil liberties even if it costs them all their donors.

  • ||

    again, a normative argument. you are proposing how the ACLU should be. i am saying how they ARE

    two different concepts

    regardless, the ACLU is a private org, just like any other. it is of course up to them to decide for themselves how they interpret the constitution, and which issues they choose to support

    of course, it's somewhat ridiculous that they call themselves the ACLU, when in fact, they aren't deserving of that title, but that's a matter of opinion

    and i 100% agree with yuo about defense attorneys, but given that they have accepted a client, they are LEGALLY bound to defend their client zealously. iow, they are in violation of their code of ethics and can be disbarred for NOT doing what we both agree they SHOULD do

    contrarily, the ACLU has no such obligation

    they can support whatever they want to, and oppose whatever they want to

    they are not legally dutybound, as are defense attorneys

    at worse, the ACLU can suffer the slings and arrows of disapproval, andor fewer contributions.

    the ACLU *needs* the latter, so they of course played politics (how utterly shocking. remember, money IS speech!) and chose not to support the 2nd amendment lest they lose donors

  • ||

    So if the National Cancer Society only funds research on breast cancer, esophageal cancer, and leukemia, but no other kind of cancer....would there be grounds for criticizing them for misrepresenting their purpose?

  • ||

    sure

  • ||

    Hell Yes! I constantly criticize the NCS(and other organizations) for it's under-funding of prostate cancer relative to breast cancer.

  • re||

    No. Instead you bitched pointlessly and endlessly about the good they haven't done.

    This kind of in-group, perfectionist bullshit is why libertarianism is always fighting an uphill battle to gain recognition in the center.

  • ||

    i see this as pretty typical here

    granted, i am not a cynic

    look at CJ stuff in the WOD. i have seen several people say "it's only getting worse" and such rubbish, when there are a million examples of it getting better

    or the constant wanking about medical MJ vs.actual legalization, when in many states, anybody with a pulse can get a script for medical MJ

    at least in WA, if you are using MJ and haven't gotten a script, you are a fucking idiot

    but yea, i constantly see perfect is enemy of the good arguments here

  • ||

    totally O/T but here's a perfect example of why videotaping cops is good

    in this case, a videotape (taken by the officer) proved an officer innocent, and condemned the false complainant (a lawyer) .

    otherwise, the officer could never PROVE he didn't make the anti-semitic slur and at best, would have a stain of suspicion on his record.

    video/audiotaping - all good cops should support it. all responsible non-cops should too.
    http://www.policeone.com/patro.....used-slur/
    NEW YORK — A Queens lawyer has been suspended for six months for falsely accusing a New Jersey state trooper of using anti-Semitic slurs against him, according to a ruling released yesterday.

    Attorney Elliott Dear said he made up the outrageous allegations in hopes of getting out of a speeding ticket.

    Court papers say the unidentified trooper pulled over Dear, an orthodox Jew, for going 84 in a 55-mph zone while driving with his wife in 2007.

    Six days after getting the ticket, Dear sent a letter to the traffic court saying, "This ticket shall be dismissed immediately" since he wasn't speeding and "the officer called me a 'Jew kike' — and this prejudice obviously was the cause for the ticket," the papers say.

    The letter was forwarded to Internal Affairs, which contacted Dear, who repeated that he had been the victim of an ethnic slur.

    Unfortunately for Dear — and luckily for the trooper — the traffic stop had been videotaped on the officer's car camera, and the trooper was wearing a recording device.

    Police reported Dear's actions to the New York state lawyers' disciplinary committee.

    In a ruling made public yesterday, a panel of state Appellate Division judges denied Dear's request for only a private rebuke, and suspended him for six months.

  • robc||

    video/audiotaping - all good cops should support it.

    Disagree, all good cops DO support it. 100% of cops who oppose videotaping of cops are bad cops.

  • ||

    false. good people can be wrong on political/policy issues

    heck, i have plenty of friends who are liberals, and who support policies i find absurd or even damaging

    i will never buy into the "you're a bad person if you don't agree with me on a policy issue" thang.

    USUALLY, that's a leftist thang to believe that, but i've seen a fair # of libertarians who play that same game

    the assumption is that a cop who doesn't support the right of universal recording must be "dirty' or have something to hide.

    that is as specious a presumption as those who oppose warrantless wiretaps must have something to hide.

    of course, the operative difference is that the latter is unconstitutional and the former is not, but the presumption is the same.

    i am well aware that BAD cops would necessarily oppose being filmed. iow, it's correlated highly (if not near 100% ) with bad cops

    it does not therefore follow that everybody who DOES oppose it is a bad cop

    the latter set includes lots of people who are good, and who do the right thing, but just don't like the policy.

  • robc||

    Filming cops isnt a "policy", it is a fundamental civil liberty. Not supporting it means the cop doesnt support civil liberties, hence a bad cop.

  • ||

    we agree. however, supporting it in concept is supporting a policy.

    thankfully, the law is starting to recognize that it is, and should be recognized as, constitutionally protected activity

    and again, unlike you, i can understand that some people can have a different conception of what is or isn't a fundamental civil liberty and that person can still be a good person

    a person's morality is not based on how they parse the constitution and case law

    i am certain that some people here, despite being wrong (at least according to case law) on police authority to use force, for example (which is also based on the constitution) are still GOOD people

    it's a pretty narrow, sad little world you live in, if you believe that people who have different conceptions of constitutional rights, case law, etc. are BAD people, or bad cops for that matter

    fwiw, cops are responsible for enforcing the law as interpreted, not based on their understanding of the constitution

    for example, i believe that laws that prohibit nonviolent convicted felons from keeping abd bearing arms are at least arguably unconstitutional

    that is not my decision to make when arresting somebody for VUFA

    i certainly think some war on domestic violence laws may violate constitutional rights to free association

    again, not my call

  • ||

    somebody with a DU account needs to post this there, and daily kos, etc.

    when the ACLU is condemning Obama (a democrat, obviously) as worse than Bush (the uberevilanticivilrightsmonster) on Civil Rights, ... well, i'd just LOVE to see the cognitive dissonance engine go into overdrive as "progressives", libs, etc. try to 'splain this one away.

    Granted, clearly the ACLU CAN be wrong, according to progressives, since they supported the citizen's united decision!

  • ||

    Honestly, WHY do people HAVE to have a Nativity on government grounds?

    Christ's sake, its not the government's job to promote, its yours.

    That is if you're a Christian, as I am.

  • ||

    Unless people are likely to be converted to Christianity because they saw a nativity scene in front of city hall, it's hardly "promotion".

    In any case, even as a devout atheist I still am more bothered by the radio ads for expanded Medicare and Obamacare crap that are financed with taxpayer dollars. At least the baby Jesus isn't crawling out of his manger and trying to get me to vote Democratic so they can loot the treasury further.

  • Sevo||

    Tulpa|12.12.11 @ 9:07PM|#
    "Unless people are likely to be converted to Christianity because they saw a nativity scene in front of city hall, it's hardly "promotion".'

    Nope.
    And ad is an ad, even if it isn't effective.
    And while I think the ACLU wastes money on this, at least it isn't taxpayer money.

  • first||

    Sophisticated and sexy, Patricia is what you would call a true beauty.

    Presently living and studying in the beautiful city of Rome, Patricia is a student of modern languages. So alongside her native tongue of Italian, she speaks English and Portuguese perfectly – not forgetting a little Spanish!

    Patricia has a playful and happy personality. She is one of life’s seekers and likes to search out new experiences and loves to experiment. Fortunately for us she also loves modeling and nudity comes as a second nature to her!

    When she isn’t studying in Rome Patricia likes to head towards the coast and hang out at the beach. And who can blame her?

    A classic beauty, with long dark velvety hair and a blinding smile, Patricia is one of those girls that takes your breath away!

  • ||

    This is just the ACLU's attempt to capitalize on the rising tide of libertarian sentiment.

    It's no coincidence that the release of this book just happens to coincide with the republican primaries, don't know why Gillespie fell took the bait and I sure as hell don't know why he gave her the kid gloves as far as the interview was concerned.

  • john||

    listen to this I just found on the internet about politicians. This is very disturbing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f1KDzwVMWs

  • john||

    listen to this I just found on the internet about politicians. This is very disturbing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5f1KDzwVMWs

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