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Is the ACLU Trying to Undermine the U.S. Military?

Monday, February 21, 2005

By Bill O'Reilly

Is the American Civil Liberties Union trying to undermine the U.S. military? That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo".

As you know, I believe the ACLU has become a partisan progressive organization no longer interested in expression of liberties. Rather, it wants to advance a political agenda. As always, I could be wrong, but the evidence weighs in my direction.

Now the ACLU has filed a number of information requests, designed to spotlight atrocities by the U.S. military in Iraq and Afghanistan. What this has to do with civil liberties— I don't know. But I do believe the military should be held accountable for what it does, so I have no problem with the request.

The latest expositions released today from the ACLU involve pictures some American soldiers took, pointing weapons at detainees and the beating of an Iraqi accused of rape. Those are the highlights of a thousand-page report.

The ACLU has been after military scandals since October of 2003, about the time the Abu Ghraib (search) situation hit. Once again, accountability is necessary but witch hunts are not.

"Talking Points" firmly believes the ACLU wants to undermine the military effort in the war on terror. The ACLU opposes the Patriot Act (search), Guantanamo detentions without lawyers, military tribunals, coercive interrogation, the war in Iraq, and pretty much all aggressive action against terror.

Now I'd really like to know exactly how the ACLU would wage war against terrorists or if it even would. Unfortunately, the ACLU does not answer those kinds of questions, being too busy criticizing any and all action taken into terror war.

With more than 300,000 U.S. troops in the field right now, there are going to be problems, but the fact that the abuses have been so few in a war so brutal is a tribute to the American military. But the ACLU doesn't see it that way.

One of its lawyers, Jamal Jaffar (search), says, "We already think that abuse was pervasive, but maybe there is a whole layer of abuse that we haven't seen yet."

So I ask you, ladies and gentlemen, is the ACLU helping in the war on terror? It's a simple question because I'm a simple man. And if that organization is not helping the USA in this life and death struggle, how are we Americans supposed to view the ACLU?

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The ACLU vs. Rumsfeld

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

By Bill O'Reilly

The ACLU goes after Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: that is the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."

The ACLU (search) and the group Human Rights First (search) have filed a federal lawsuit against Rumsfeld on behalf of eight foreign men who say they were tortured by U.S. forces. The lawsuit will most likely be dismissed, but the exercise is important.

"Talking Points" believes that any violations of military law — torture, executions, false imprisonment — are unacceptable and should be vigorously prosecuted, and the Bush administration seems to be doing that. Just today, it criticized the interim government in Iraq for some rights violations.

That being said, "T-Points" also believes that the ACLU is the most dangerous organization in the country and is trying to paralyze the federal government by suing over a bevy of anti-terror strategies. The ACLU is putting us all in danger by its fanatical opposition to fighting the war on terror.

Here are the facts:

• The ACLU opposes the Patriot Act (search). In 2003, liberal California Senator Dianne Feinstein (search) asked the organization to produce examples of the government abusing citizens under the Patriot Act. The ACLU could not cite a single example.

• The ACLU opposes the "no-fly" list compiled by the Transportation Security Administration. It has sued the federal government over the list.

• The ACLU opposes allowing state and local police to enforce the immigration laws. It has sued the Justice Department to prevent federal information about immigrants to flow to local authorities.

• The ACLU believes alleged terrorists wearing civilian clothing should have Geneva Convention (search) rights and attorneys paid for by the American taxpayers, even if those people are captured overseas.

In fact, "Talking Points" could not find one pro-active anti-terror measure that the ACLU supports. Not one. They are against everything.

There's no question that oversight is needed. America cannot allow human rights abuses. But, with more than 300,000 military in the field, bad stuff's going to happen. You don't dismantle your defense system because abuses occur. They occur in every war. You deal with them case by case.

For example, I agree with the ACLU that accused terrorist Jose Padilla (search) should be charged or let go after two-and-a-half years of incarceration. I believe the Guantanamo detainees have a right to be tried in front of a military tribunal. And I want accountability in every phase of the terror war.

But the ACLU is just flat-out dangerous. It panders to its far-Left base by portraying the USA as a bad country, giving terrorists aid and comfort, as it holds America to an impossible standard.

The executives who run the ACLU are very well paid, funded by billionaire George Soros (search) and others, and the more bad things the ACLU can say about America, the more money comes rolling in.

Get the picture? It is awful.

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  • 2 weeks later...


WASHINGTON - At least 108 people have died in American custody in Iraq and Afghanistan, most of them violently, according to government data provided to The Associated Press. Roughly a quarter of those deaths have been investigated as possible abuse by U.S. personnel.

The figure, far higher than any previously disclosed, includes cases investigated by the Army, Navy, CIA and Justice Department. Some 65,000 prisoners have been taken during the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, although most have been freed.

The Pentagon has never provided comprehensive information on how many prisoners taken during the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have died, and the 108 figure is based on information supplied by Army, Navy and other government officials. It includes deaths attributed to natural causes.

ACLU: Hold someone accountable

To human rights groups, the deaths form a clear pattern.

“Despite the military’s own reports of deaths and abuses of detainees in U.S. custody, it is astonishing that our government can still pretend that what is happening is the work of a few rogue soldiers,” said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero. “No one at the highest levels of our government has yet been held accountable for the torture and abuse, and that is unacceptable.”

To the Pentagon, each death is a distinct case, meriting an investigation but not attributable to any single faulty military policy. Pentagon officials point to a number of military investigations which found that no policy condoned abuse.

Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. John Skinner said the military has taken steps to reduce the chance of violent uprisings at its prisons and the use of excessive force by soldiers, and also has improved the health care available to prisoners.

“The military has dramatically improved detention operations, everything from increased oversight and improved facilities to expanded training and the availability of state-of-the-art medical care

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