News Release

Legal Issues: * Where’s the Evidence? * Civil Liberties


On Monday, President Bush said: “We’re acting based on clear evidence, much of which is classified, so it will not be disclosed.” Today, Attorney General Ashcroft testified in favor of granting the government new powers. The following legal analysts are available for interviews:

Professor of international law at Ohio State University, Quigley said today: “It is general international practice that you provide some proof before you demand the surrender of someone wanted on criminal charges. So it’s not unreasonable of the Taliban to want to see the evidence. Even if the Taliban are aware of camps, that does not indicate the criminal responsibility of Bin Laden for any particular act.”

Vice president of the Center for Constitutional Rights and an expert on war powers, Ratner said today: “The United States has yet to present convincing proof that Bin Laden was involved in the attacks on September 11. Without such proof it is unlikely Afghanistan will ever agree to his extradition and it will be more difficult to get other nations to cooperate in a coalition. Certainly before force is used that evidence should be revealed publicly and the facts subject to scrutiny by the UN Security Council. Otherwise, the U.S. may launch military attacks with no basis, much like it apparently did in bombing a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan.” [Ratner, an attorney, is also knowledgeable on civil liberties issues.] More Information

Boyle is professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law.
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Professor of human rights and peace law at San Francisco State University and executive director of the Meiklejohn Civil Liberties Institute, Ginger said today: “A major question is the responsibility of the U.S. government to obey the law. It cannot proceed the way it is going because this violates the U.S. Constitution and the UN Charter…. We must also note that a service person who discovers that he or she is a conscientious objector to war in any form based on religious training and belief — or a strong parallel belief — has a right to information on what he or she can do to exercise this belief.”

Professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, Cole testified yesterday before Congress on civil liberties issues.

Jabara is a civil rights attorney in New York City.

Gage is national coordinator for the National Coalition to Protect Political Freedom.

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