News Release

“Must Bring America Back into the World of Civilized States”

MICHAEL RATNER
President of the Center for Constitutional Rights, Ratner said today: “It is historic. A black family in the White House that slaves built. Yes, slaves were used in the construction of the White House. …

“Obama has been disappointing regarding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These must be ended and the time is now; the time to revive our anti-war movement is now. We cannot await what Obama might do: he has already told us about wanting to send more troops to Afghanistan. We must push him to end the current wars and eradicate the poison of aggressive war.

“Obama has promised to close Guantanamo and end torture. We must hold him to that promise. He must close secret CIA sites and off-shore prisons. He must end the kangaroo courts called military commissions. He must end the massive surveillance state America has become.

“Finally, he must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the war crimes of the Bush administration: the aggressive war in Iraq, torture and warrantless wiretapping. In short he must bring America back into the world of civilized states where fundamental rights and the prohibition on aggressive war are not just slogans but guide U.S. actions.”
More Information

BRUCE FEIN
Author of the new book Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for our Constitution and Democracy, Fein is a conservative who has sharply criticized the Bush administration for fundamental violations of the Constitution. Obama last night said that “the dream of our founders is alive in our time.” Fein made the following recommendations to President-elect Obama:

* “Renounce presidential power to initiate war anywhere on the planet, including Iran.”

* “Announce that the United States is no longer at ‘war’ with international terrorism. Accordingly, no person shall be detained as an enemy combatant without accusation or trial; and, military commissions will be dismantled and persons accused of crimes will be tried in civilian courts with the trappings of constitutional due process.”

* “Declare the Iraqi war resolution an unconstitutional delegation of congressional power to direct the initiation of war to the president; and, proclaim that all U.S. combat operations in Iraq will end in 30 days unless Congress passes a law directing that the Iraqi war continue.”

* “Declare President George W. Bush’s presidential signing statements and those of his predecessors of no further force or effect.”

* “Announce that executive privilege or state secrets will never be invoked to conceal from Congress any information; and, that he will prosecute Harriet Miers or Karl Rove for contempt of congressional subpoenas.”

* “Announce that he will direct his Attorney General to summon grand juries to determine whether government officials, including President Bush or Vice President Cheney, should be indicted for complicity in torture or criminal violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

* “Pronounce the end of the American Empire in favor of an American Republic constitutionally dedicated to securing the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, not to adventures abroad in search of monsters to destroy.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167