In support of the ACLU’s New Year’s resolution petition, I submitted the following text supplementing the ACLU Move Freedom Forward boilerplate immediately following.
It’s the beginning of a new year, the beginning of a new Congress and time for us to look ahead at where we want our country to be a year from now.
In the coming year, I will ask you to take a number of steps to enhance freedom and fairness for everyone in America. This year, my New Year’s resolutions include working with you to help:
1. Restore habeas corpus and due process
2. End torture in secret prisons
3. Stop warrantless eavesdropping on innocent Americans
4. Fix the Patriot Act and bring it in line with the Constitution
I hope you’ll make these resolutions a priority for 2007. By doing so, you and the Congress can reassert your Constitutional role as a check on the executive branch and ensure oversight of the president and the administration.
In this new year, I expect the new Congress to act vigorously to defend America from those who would take away its freedoms. I expect the new Congress to defend us from the specter of terrorism, the fear of which robs us of our freedom of assembly, our freedom of movement, and the sense of security required for us to pursue the promise of life, liberty, and happiness which is our birthright. As importantly, however, I expect the new Congress to defend us against the specter of Big Brother, the presence of which also engenders fear, and which directly robs us of our freedom of speech, our freedom of thought, and the privacy and security which are also our birthrights.
Reasoned estimates place the likelihood of a U.S. citizen dying in a terrorist attack less than that of accidentally drowning. Neither the public’s unreasoned fear of terrorism nor the government’s perceived need to be seen as doing something to combat it should force us to give up our hard-fought essential liberties, yet we have already with the overreaching PATRIOT ACT, the Bush administration’s unconstitutional warrantless eavesdropping program, and its unconscionable moves to sanction torture while suspending habeas corpus and due process.
In the new year, I expect the new Congress to restore our liberties, restore our rights, and pursue anti-terrorism policies that attack not only the proximate perpetrators of terrorist acts, but, as importantly, the root causes of terrorist activity.