Friday, September 30, 2005

Disguised As The Great Defender Of Freedom

Currently churning my way through The Aclu Vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values, which I received in the mail a few weeks back. Initially I was a bit put off by the strident title, as my feelings about the ACLU were pretty close to those attributed by the authors to most Americans in the opening pages:

Most Americans are unaware of the extreme positions of the ACLU. Many believe that either the ACLU exists to stick up for the little guy, or it was an organization with noble beginnings but took a wrong turn somewhere along the way. This book will demonstrate that neither view is the full story.

Now after reading about the history of the ACLU (especially the people who founded it) and being reminded about the stances they've taken on many issues of late (Boy Scouts, gar gay [thanks Robert] marriage, abortion, etc.), I can see why it was chosen. This item in the news yesterday certainly does nothing to dispel the notion. Judge orders release of new Abu Ghraib photos:

Pictures of detainee abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison must be released despite government claims that they could damage America?s image, a judge ruled Thursday.

The American Civil Liberties Union sought the release of 87 photographs and four videotapes as part of an October 2003 lawsuit demanding information on the treatment of detainees in U.S. custody and the transfer of prisoners to countries known to use torture. The ACLU contends that prisoner abuse is systemic.

Brutal images of the abuse at the prison have already been widely distributed, but the lawsuit covers additional photos not yet seen by the public.

Gen. Richard B. Myers, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, had maintained in court papers that releasing the photographs would aid al-Qaida recruitment, weaken the Afghan and Iraqi governments and incite riots against U.S. troops.

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero called it historic. "While no one wants to see what's on the photos or videos, they will play an essential role in holding our government leaders accountable for the torture that's happened on their watch," he said.

But don't you dare question their patriotism.