WASHINGTON -- October 28 -- Green Party candidates and leaders have called the sustained assault on the U.S. Constitution over the past decade one of the missing issues of the 2004 election year. "The Constitution -- not the flag or the Pledge of Allegiance -- is the glue that holds our nation together," said Marakay Rogers, Green candidate for Attorney General of Pennsylvania. "Democrats and Republicans alike tell us that anticonstitutional measures like the USA Patriot Act are necessary for security and for law and order. But these measures promote the transformation of the U.S. into something that more and more resembles a police state, an authoritarian regime, an empire."
Greens listed numerous threats to the U.S. Constitution:
- USA Patriot Act, passed in 2001 after few Congress members had read it, violates the 4th Amendment (freedom from search and seizure without a court order), the 5th Amendment (due process), 6th Amendment (the right to a speedy and public jury trial), and encroaches on the 1st Amendment's freedom of speech and assembly.
- When Congress (including Sen. Kerry) voted in October, 2002 to surrender Congress's power to declare war over to the White House, it violated the constitutional separation of powers (Article I, Section 8) and set the scenario for deception of the American people and abuse of power when President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq.
- When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, it violated international laws against "preemptive" and "preventive" war (enacted after Hitler used these excuses to justify invading Czechoslovakia, Poland, and France); as well the Constitution's limit on the deployment of armed forces to immediate protection of U.S. borders (Article I, Section 8), and requirement that the U.S. adhere to international treaties (Article VI).
"The removal of dictator Saddam Hussein was a good thing, but the illegal means to achieve it has lead to greater strife in Iraq, greater security threats to the U.S., and the breakdown of international cooperation," said Pat Driscoll, Green candidate for Congress in California's 5th District <http://www.driscollforcongress.org>.
- In violation of Article VI, the Bush Administration has disregarded numerous other treaties signed by the U.S.: the 1949 Geneva Convention rules and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (probihiting abuse of prisoners and torture); the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty; the U.N. Agreement to Curb the International Flow of Illicit Small Arms; the 1907 Hague Conventions (prohibiting pillage, such as Iraq occupation Administrator Paul Bremer's order permitting foreign ownership of Iraqi business and resources).
On October 8, the House passed the 9/11 Recommendations Implementation Act (H.R. 10), Section 3033 of which allows the Secretary of Homeland Security to send any alien in the U.S. to a country that allows torture in order to extract information.
- The U.S. Supreme Court gutted the principle of 'one person, one vote' in its 2000 Bush v. Gore decision, in disregard of the 14th Amendment's voting rights provisions (Section 2) <http://www.gp.org/press/pr_10_18_04.html>. The legal integrity of national elections is currently at risk because of manipulation, fraud, disenfranchisement of voters in Florida and other states, and easily engineered computer voting.
- A report from the National Lawyers Guild <http://www.nlg.org/resources/DissentBookWeb.pdf> documents countless and flagrant constitutional violations in the police handling of nonviolent protesters, journalists, and bystanders at recent demonstrations at political conventions and international trade meetings in Seattle, Washington, D.C., Miami, Philadelphia, and other cities.
- The FBI violated the freedom of the press when it blocked Independent Media Center web sites in the U.S. in recent weeks. The FBI was acting in cooperation with foreign governments that had shut down IMCs in London and other European cities and seized their servers in an attempt to censor political dissent and news.
- Green Party members have also protested the power of international trade bodies (NAFTA, FTAA, WTO, etc.) to overrule democratically enacted environmental, labor, and human rights protections in the U.S. and other nations.
"The rights, protections, and laws enshrined in the Constitution are now in danger of erosion to the point where it may become an irrelevant historical artifact," said David Cobb, Green candidate for President of the United States. "Greens are committed to upholding and defending the Constitution, and amending it legally where it falls short."