Thursday, December 20, 2007


Santa and the Center for Constitution Rights delivered an early Christmas present to President Bush today.

The Prez got tens of thousands of copies of the Constitution.

It wouldn't hurt him to read just one.

But then this is President Bush.

A letter which accompanied the gift read:
Dear President Bush:

Enclosed please find a copy of the U.S. Constitution. I wish you'd make some time in your busy schedule to read it.

I would have hoped that you'd be pretty familiar with it already, because you have at least three times in your life taken a solemn oath to uphold, protect and defend it, but all the signs indicate that you either don't know what's in it, or you don't care.

For example, do you recall what the Constitution says about habeas corpus? It's only 26 words, and they are very clear: "The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it."

So, what were you thinking when you signed the Detainee Treatment Act, which does precisely what the Constitution forbids by suspending habeas corpus?

And while you're at it, why not take a look at Article VI, part of which seems to have escaped your notice: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land."

If you understand that treaties are the law of the land, where do you get the nonsense you put out on a regular basis about torture? Because, as surely someone in the White House must be aware, the U.S. is a signatory to the international Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

The convention against torture makes a clear statement, which (according to the Constitution) is the "Law of the Land:" "For the purposes of this Convention, the term 'torture' means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."

Just read it, Mr. President. And then uphold, protect and defend it, like you swore you would.

The following is from AlterNet.

Santa Delivers 37,000+ Copies of Constitution to Bush

December 20, 2007, Washington, DC - This morning, Santa Claus (in the person of noted constitutional lawyer Bill Goodman) drove his sleigh to the White House to deliver thousands of copies of the U.S. Constitution to President Bush.

Americans from all over the country - more than 37,000 of them - asked that a copy of the Constitution be delivered to the President in their name and cordially requested that he make time in his busy schedule to read it.

"While I was going over the list of who's been naughty and nice," Mr. Claus said, as he prepared for his visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, "I heard from many people who feel the President hasn't been doing a very good job of upholding his oath to 'preserve, protect and defend' the Constitution."

Responding to an urgent request from the Center for Constitutional Rights, Claus stepped in to bring messages from Americans who felt the President might need a refresher course in the Constitution. Citizens want to remind President Bush that the Constitution forbids torture and spying on Americans without a warrant, requires that prisoners get a fair hearing of the charges against them before a real court and makes the government's treaty obligations, such the Geneva Conventions, the law of the land.

"These Constitutions will make great holiday reading," Claus continued. "I want to be sure that the President has plenty of time to look at them before he decides on his New Year's resolutions."

The complete text of the letter that accompanies the Constitutions is available here.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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