News Release

Call to End the War on Terror at Home

CHIP GIBBONS, chip@RightsAndDissent.org, @rightsdissent
    Gibbons is policy director for Defending Rights & Dissent which recently wrote an open letter to Biden: “President Biden: End The War on Terror At Home!” which calls for:

“Repeal the AUMF: The 2001 AUMF [Authorization for Use of Military Force] was a blank check for war. In addition to being used to circumvent Congress’s Constitutional war powers, it has also been used to justify curtailing civil liberties at home. With the ground war in Afghanistan ended, there is no justification for the AUMF. It must be repealed without a replacement to prevent further abuses.

“The U.S. is Not A Battlefield: You must repudiate any legal theories that seek to treat the domestic U.S. as a battlefield and allow the president to conduct surveillance or detention based on wartime authorities.

“Close Guantanamo Bay: Military detention at Guantanamo Bay was justified based on the AUMF and pursuant to the law of war. However, just as we cannot tolerate a ‘forever war’ we cannot tolerate ‘forever prisoners.’ The prison must be closed and individuals held there must either be tried in a court of law or released.

“Rollback The Surveillance State: Since 9/11, the government’s powers to conduct surveillance have been dramatically expanded. At times the executive branch has operationalized mass surveillance within the United States without any authorization from Congress or the courts, like the President’s Surveillance Program or the creation of terror watchlists. …

“Dismantle DHS: The Department of Homeland Security was created after 9/11. Far from keeping Americans safe, it has facilitated abuses of civil liberties and should be dismantled.

“End the Countering Violent Extremism Program: The discredited Countering Violent Extremism program has been repackaged and renamed as the CP3 program (Center for Prevention Programs and Partnerships). Like CVE, CP3 continues to arrogate trusted community members and organizations to identify potential terrorists based on protected First Amendment activity. …

“Rein in the FBI: In the years after 9/11, multiple Attorneys General rolled back guidelines that checked the FBI’s ability to abuse its investigatory powers. The FBI escalated its practice of using its counterterrorism authorities to investigate political speech, and subjected the Muslim, Arab, and South Asian American communities to suspicionless surveillance. The FBI began the practice of deploying agent provocateurs to find people, entice them to agree to participate in fictitious terrorist plots, and then arrest them in controversial ‘stings.’ …

“Dissent is Not Disloyalty, Whistleblowers Are Not Spies: … The Espionage Act must no longer be used against whistleblowers and journalists, and those charged under it for exposing U.S. war crimes must receive full pardons.

“Transparency and Accountability: … Your recent executive order needs to be the first step of many to promote meaningful transparency, including declassification, into the War on Terror.”