For Immediate Release
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167
"Must Bring America Back into the World of Civilized States"
President of the Center for Constitutional Rights,
Ratner said today: "It is historic. A black family in the White House
that slaves built. Yes, slaves were used in the construction of the
White House. ...
"Obama has been disappointing regarding the wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq. These must be ended and the time is now; the time to revive our
anti-war movement is now. We cannot await what Obama might do: he has
already told us about wanting to send more troops to Afghanistan. We
must push him to end the current wars and eradicate the poison of
"Obama has promised to close Guantanamo and end torture. We must hold
him to that promise. He must close secret CIA sites and off-shore
prisons. He must end the kangaroo courts called military commissions.
He must end the massive surveillance state America has become.
"Finally, he must appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the war
crimes of the Bush administration: the aggressive war in Iraq, torture
and warrantless wiretapping. In short he must bring America back into
the world of civilized states where fundamental rights and the
prohibition on aggressive war are not just slogans but guide U.S.
Author of the new book Constitutional Peril: The Life and Death Struggle for our Constitution and Democracy,
Fein is a conservative who has sharply criticized the Bush
administration for fundamental violations of the Constitution. Obama
last night said that "the dream of our founders is alive in our time."
Fein made the following recommendations to President-elect Obama:
* "Renounce presidential power to initiate war anywhere on the planet, including Iran."
* "Announce that the United States is no longer at 'war' with
international terrorism. Accordingly, no person shall be detained as an
enemy combatant without accusation or trial; and, military commissions
will be dismantled and persons accused of crimes will be tried in
civilian courts with the trappings of constitutional due process."
* "Declare the Iraqi war resolution an unconstitutional delegation of
congressional power to direct the initiation of war to the president;
and, proclaim that all U.S. combat operations in Iraq will end in 30
days unless Congress passes a law directing that the Iraqi war
* "Declare President George W. Bush's presidential signing statements
and those of his predecessors of no further force or effect."
* "Announce that executive privilege or state secrets will never be
invoked to conceal from Congress any information; and, that he will
prosecute Harriet Miers or Karl Rove for contempt of congressional
* "Announce that he will direct his Attorney General to summon grand
juries to determine whether government officials, including President
Bush or Vice President Cheney, should be indicted for complicity in
torture or criminal violations of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance
* "Pronounce the end of the American Empire in favor of an American
Republic constitutionally dedicated to securing the blessings of
liberty to ourselves and our posterity, not to adventures abroad in
search of monsters to destroy."