April 30, 2015


Susan Herman, President of the ACLU...asleep at the wheel???

In my previous post, I responded to a comment from our dear friend Jody who, quite understandably being from New Zealand via London, wondered why some American women recoil from the term "Feminist" since Feminism is about "women's rights and equality" with my counterpoint that a number of Feminists too often use the Orwellian Animal Farm angle that "some women are more equal than others".  I told Jody that the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is a far better example of an organization that consistently stands for it's principles regardless of the people involved by citing their famous case of fighting for an American Nazi group's right to march through the Chicago suburb of Skokie, home to a large Jewish population and quite a few Holocaust survivors. By fighting for people they personally despised, they demonstrated how committed to the principles of Civil Liberties they actually are.

Jane Addams: Legendary Chicagoan, ACLU Co-Founder, America's First Female Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Women's Suffragist whose Feminism went a bit beyond earnest cocktail party chatter. This Jane's Addiction was for the welfare of children, public health, and world peace.

During the Bush Administration, the ACLU was quite predictably fiercely opposed to Guantanamo Bay, enhanced interrogation (waterboarding), the treatment of detainees of Abu Graib, just to name a few.  They have always been a stalwart for keeping our government's feet close to the fire regarding basic rights. Seconds after pecking out my response to Jody on my phone, I realized that the ACLU has recently gone soft on their own principles and are due a trip to The Den's woodshed.  The ACLU response to The Obama Administration practice of executing Americans without due process of law has been quite muted and almost all those people who were apoplectic at the Bush Administration over waterboarding, Abu Graib, Guantanamo Bay, etc. are nowhere to be found. While the Obama White House has freely acknowledged executing 2 Americans via Drone strike and citing rather dubious legal authority they also admitted over the weekend to killing 2 more Americans back in January while also killing 2 hostages: an American and an Italian. The Obama White House says the 2 American ISIS members killed this time were not specifically targeted like the previous Americans they executed without due process.

Jane Addams' Hull House on Chicago's Near West Side.

So tell me Ms Susan Herman, ACLU, and all those people who were foaming at the mouth angry over waterboarding, Guantanamo, and Abu Graib, etc: are you to remain true to your principles and vigilantly fight for the rights of ALL Americans or people, regardless of ideology and hold the US Government to the highest standards regarding Civil Liberties or are we going to just keep basically sitting this one out and issue a terse memo here and there?

US President Barack Obama accepting Nobel Peace Prize. Among Nobel Peace Laureates, President Obama holds a commanding lead in the category of: most countries bombed with seven. Jane Addams and the other 102 Peace Laureates
 are deadlocked in second place with zero.  According to recent news reports, Obama has boasted to aides of being
really good at killing people.
pic from The Wall Street Journal

What would Jane say?


  1. Oh GSL, I don't know what to write about this one. I don't feel a bit sorry for "American" terrorists who were killed in drone strikes overseas if they had joined ISIS or al-Qaeda. Not a bit sorry for them! They would bring so much harm to citizens of the United States if they could, and I feel they are actively planning it. I don't know if I approve of everything the ACLU does either, they certainly seem to pick and choose who they are going to fight for. Why would they think it's right or moral that a nut-job Nazi group gets to march through a neighborhood where Holocaust survivors reside? Really?

    Another thoughtful and provocative post, GSL. You always keep me both entertained and thinking! xx

    1. My Dear Jill,
      I don't feel sorry for the American ISIS terrorists getting killed either but wanted to point out that those hopping mad over 'waterboarding' (which leaves no permanent injury) the guy who admitted masterminding 9/11 and boasted of decapitating Wall Street Journal reporter Jeffrey Pearl have suddenly gone silent over executing Americans.
      The ACLU performs a vital function in our Democracy including letting despicable people the right to speak their minds, the right to peaceful assembly and protest, and freedom of association. The ACLU has been a pretty straight shooter over the years and they have voiced objections to those Drone strikes mentioned above but at nowhere near the intensity they would have if Bush had done it. With very few exceptions, those in official Washington have sat on their hands for these Drone strike executions while not that long ago performing Operatic Spasms of moral indignation over what they accused Bush of doing with waterboarding, Guantanomo, Abu Graib, etc.

  2. Although we may be initially repulsed by certain actions, organizations, etc. thankfully one person should not determine who shall be given freedoms, liberties, and the right to say the most asinine thing possible. This is quite a hot topic you have bravely presented. Of course I have an opinion about everything but realize so do others.

    1. Hey T,
      A hot topic this surely is but would quibble with your 'bravely presented' assertion behind essentially a veil of anonymity...at least for all but you lucky few....