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TGIF: A Strong Week for Firedoglake Activism

10:55 am in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein

When you’re this deep in the trenches, everything seems like an uphill battle. Rarely, it seems, do we see justice truly served or fairness truly honored.

But (!) this past week was different. FDL activists saw some inspiring progress on a variety of campaigns, and since it’s Friday and we could all probably use a little pick-me-up, I thought I’d share our week with you.

What’s important to keep in mind here is that Firedoglake activists played an important role in each of the following. Great job, everyone!

Last Friday, we found out that AARP dropped it’s falsely-limited survey on the future of Social Security and Medicare benefits in favor of a more open-ended survey. Our campaign of over 20,000 activists including over 9,000 AARP members, from FDL, CREDO Mobile, the National Organization for Women and Social Security Works were able to pressure the nation’s largest elderly advocate to drop this effort to use their members as human shields for future support of benefit cuts.

The New York State Assembly voted to pass medical marijuana legislation 90-50 after Just Say Now activists launched hundreds of calls alongside activists from CCPR/NYCA and NORML in support.

Then, this past Wednesday, we learned that the Rhode Island General Assembly had approved marijuana decriminalization for the state and Gov. Chafee signed it, after our Just Say Now campaign launched dozens of calls to his office in support.

After Just Say Now activists called city officials in February to oppose efforts to block it from the ballot for the 2nd time, the MI State Supreme Court ruled that Detroit voters would decide on marijuana decriminalization in August.

Finally, we also learned this week that Rep. Dennis Kucinich is leading a group of 26 members of Congress in writing a letter demanding the White House release what we’ve called the Execution Memos, or the legal justification behind the ‘secret kill list’ and the authority to murder anyone suspected of ‘terrorism’ – including American citizens – anywhere in the world without due process or judicial review. This follows pressure applied by over 22,000 FDL activists, who have been for months demanding this legal rationale be made public by the administration.

They’re small victories, and they are certainly to be shared with the other activists and organizations rallying behind them, but they are victories nonetheless.

If you’re feeling generous on this Friday afternoon, consider chipping in $5 to help Firedoglake continue our advocacy on issues from marijuana to Social Security and beyond.

AG Holder Outlines Administration’s Support for Warrantless Execution of Americans, But Where Are the Memos?

12:13 pm in Uncategorized by Brian Sonenstein

Demand the Obama Administration
Release the Execution Memos


On Monday, US Attorney General Eric Holder gave a speech at Northwestern University outlining the supposed ‘legality’ of the Obama administration’s secret program to target US citizens for execution without notifying them of the accusations against them, officially charging them with a crime or offering them the opportunity to respond.

Since the whole world is a battlefield in the vague ‘war on terror,’ the only due process afforded to someone who has been targeted for extrajudicial execution is a secret ‘review’ by the panel of senior officials in the executive branch.

Just as the public demanded the release of the Bush Administration’s Torture Memos to expose the ludicrous rationale behind their secret torture program, we too must demand to know the legal rationale for a program that allows our president to unilaterally choose to deprive someone of life and liberty – without any oversight or recourse available to the victim.

Holder’s speech was a cheap attempt to feign transparency without actually releasing the legal memos that define the administration’s execution program. We need your help to demand the Obama administration release these memos immediately so there can be an open public debate about Executive power and the execution of American citizens without any due process or outside accountability.

Please sign our petition demanding the Obama administration produce the internal memos and legal justification for their targeted execution program.

Click here to sign:

The administration’s refusal to even outline this non-judicial ‘due process’ that allows US citizens to be secretly put on a kill list is beyond troubling to say the least.

If left unchallenged, this secretive program could continue to expand under Obama and future presidents, and further erode America’s most basic principles of justice. Without the memos we do not know exactly how far the Obama administration believes this unprecedented power extends. We need your help to build a groundswell of pressure to force the release of any and all legal justification for the targeted killings program so there can be an open debate in this country about our president’s unilateral authority to kill.

As Glenn Greenwald put it (emphasis mine):

…the ‘process’ which Eric Holder yesterday argued constitutes “due process” as required by the Fifth Amendment before the government can deprive of someone of their life: the President and his underlings are your accuser, your judge, your jury and your executioner all wrapped up in one, acting in total secrecy and without your even knowing that he’s accused you and sentenced you to death, and you have no opportunity even to know about, let alone confront and address, his accusations; is that not enough due process for you?

The ACLU, New York Times and others have been suing the Obama administration for months in hopes of securing the release of the Citizen Execution Memos, but as one of the least-transparent administrations in recent history, they have repeatedly blocked their release. We want to join the growing chorus of voices calling for the release of the memos and a full public reckoning for this atrocious policy of secretly murdering US citizens at the whim of the executive.

Sign our petition demanding the Obama administration produce the internal memos and legal justification for their targeted killing program.

This is a serious and dangerous precedent, and anyone who took issue with the Bush Torture Memos should be even more concerned about this latest expansion of Executive power. I hope you’ll join us in fighting to release these memos.