anthony @ 22:00 BST
On October 15, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) introduced the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 (H.R. 3835) “To restore the Constitution’s checks and balances and protections against government abuses as envisioned by the Founding Fathers.”
The issues addressed by this bill are:
- Military Commissions; Enemy Combatants; Habeas Corpus;
- Torture or Coerced Confessions;
- Intelligence Gathering;
- Presidential Signing Statements;
- Kidnaping, Detentions, and Torture Abroad;
- Journalist Exception to Espionage Act; and
- Use of Secret Evidence to Make Foreign Terrorist Designations.
On March 20, 2007, a group of nationally known conservatives (Bruce Fein, David Keene, Richard Viguerie, and Bob Barr) announced the formation of the American Freedom Agenda (AFA), a campaign to restore governmental checks and balances and civil liberties protections under assault by the Bush administration. The same day, the AFA “outlined a legislative package that would bind the current and all future occupants of the White House, irrespective of party affiliation, to restore congressional oversight, personal civil liberties, and governmental checks and balances….”
At the same meeting AFA unveiled a “Freedom Pledge” based on the principles contained in its legislative package, which it planned to issue to all presidential candidates of both parties to sign. It was also revealed that Rep. Ron Paul, who had already announced his candidacy for president, had already signed the “Freedom Pledge.” Ron Paul’s American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007 closely reflects the AFA’s legislative package.
In the meantime, in July a group with a similar name and purpose was launched by some well-known liberals. The group is called the American Freedom Campaign. Its purpose is surprisingly similar to that of the American Freedom Agenda. Its founders include Wes Boyd, co-founder of Moveon.org; David Fenton, William Haseltine, and Naomi Wolf.
There are two new organizations that are driving a grassroots push to restore the rule of law: the American Freedom Agenda was started by leaders who are conservative: Bruce Fein, who was a Reagan administration official in the Department of Justice, and others. The American Freedom Campaign was started by progressives. Both groups advance comparable 10 point legislative agendas that would stabilize democracy long enough for us to forestall the worst and regroup for more long-term reparation of the Constitution and the rule of law…. The big news is that this idea can now become a law and a law creates a reality.
On Monday, Rep. Ron Paul, the outsider Republican presidential candidate who has long upheld these values and who was an early voice warning of the grave danger to all of us of these abuses, introduced the AFA’s legislative package into Congress…. It is the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007, and you should read it in its entirety: just as accounts of the recent abuses send chills down your spine, this beautifully argued document feels historic and has the ring of great power to correct great injustice.
Earlier today the John Birch Society sent out an email alert in support of the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007. The Birch Society has also added “Support the American Freedom Agenda Act of 2007” to the action items under its JBS.org Freedom Campaign.