Join the Expose and Expunge Movement
Dear PCJF supporter,
The Washington Post today has given extensive coverage to the U.S. government's massive and growing operation of domestic spying on the American people – a threat that the PCJF has been at the forefront of exposing and fighting.
Please join the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund and thousands of others and sign the letter that states, "The people's rights protected under the Constitution are fundamentally diminished unless these illegal operations are halted." (Click here to read the letter.)
The PCJF is also undertaking a People's Investigation and Audit using FOIA, public records demands and other legal means to compel disclosure and expungement.
"We will not stand by and allow the Constitution to become a mere ornament affixed to a police state," emphasized Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, co-founder of the PCJF.
As today's article states, "The Post findings paint a picture of a country at a crossroads..." where enshrined constitutional protections against government intrusion and surveillance into our lives are being dismantled in practice by a monster intelligence complex that uses national security as its pretext.
The article details how, "Technologies and techniques honed for use on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan have migrated into the hands of law enforcement agencies in America."
"The occupied people of Iraq have become the guinea pigs, and their land the testing ground, for the implementation of a new surveillance state in the United States," stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard.
The Post's report, "Monitoring America," includes that:
- The FBI's Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative contains 161,948 files on people who have not been accused of any crime, but simply were targeted for reporting by local or federal authorities, or even just a neighbor or stranger. The files include employment history, financial documents, photos and more.
- The Department of Homeland Security's massive fusion center program -- which feeds into the FBI's Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative -- is so out of control that they can't account for the $31 billion in tax-payer funds they have handed out to state and local law enforcement.
- There are no professional standards or qualifications for the "expertise" that is hired for training and advising law enforcement, and as such right wing and racist anti-Muslim so-called "experts" have been paid to advise and influence operations.
A broad and diverse cross-section of leaders, human rights advocates, attorneys and legal scholars have come together to take a stand against these continuing violations. Please join them and add your name to the Sign-On Letter for the Expose and Expunge Campaign that demands that the government disclose and purge the data collected through its domestic spying and surveillance programs.
Ramsey Clark, former U.S. Attorney General
Geronimo ji Jaga, former political prisoner held for 27 years
Michel Shehadeh, LA8 defendant; Committee for Justice
Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, co-founder Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
Carl Messineo, co-founder Partnership for Civil Justice Fund
Jennifer Harbury, Human Rights Lawyer
Michael Ratner, President, Center for Constitutional Rights*
Ron Kovic, author, Born on the 4th of July
Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator, Voices for Creative Nonviolence
Blase and Theresa Bonpane, Office of the Americas
John Passacantando, former Executive Director, Greenpeace USA
Heidi Boghosian, Executive Director, National Lawyers Guild
Mahdi Bray, Executive Director, Muslim American Society Freedom
Michael Berg, father of Nicholas Berg, killed in Iraq
Brian Becker, National Coordinator, ANSWER Coalition
Mounzer Sleiman, Vice Chair, National Council of Arab Americans
Michael Prysner, co-founder, March Forward!
Michael Avery, former President, National Lawyers Guild, professor Suffolk Law School
Michael Steven Smith, Board of Directors, Center for Constitutional Rights*
Carol Sobel, Civil Rights Attorney
James Lafferty, Exec. Director, National Lawyers Guild Los Angeles
Eric Mar, Board of Supervisors, City & County of San Francisco
Shakeel Syed, the Executive Director of the Shura Council of Southern California*
Marina Drummer, Angola 3 Defense Committee
Frank Dorrel, Publisher, Addicted to War
Mike Ferner, President, Veterans for Peace
* Organization listed for identification purposes only.
Sign-On Letter for the Expose & Expunge Campaign
Disclose and purge data collected through illegal domestic spying and surveillance programs
We the undersigned call on the Obama Administration and Congress to immediately begin identifying and expunging from all government databases the massive accumulation of information collected by the Bush administration’s illegal domestic spying operations on millions of people who broke no law.
Some of these illegal spying programs were suspended and yet the government maintains the illegally collected data. These databases should be expunged.
We also oppose the continuation of other programs initiated during the Bush era which continue on in wholesale data collection and mass surveillance, unchecked and unabated. For instance, federal agents, local law enforcement and U.S. military personnel, with input from private right-wing political groups, continue to collect and report surveillance data, including fabricated disinformation, to the 72 government Fusion Centers around the United States. Fusion Centers have been found to target political, student, and religious organizations and activities.
The people of the United States have a legal right to be free from government surveillance, the type of which was initiated by the Bush administration on an enormous scale. Using the Sept. 11 attacks as a pretext, the Bush White House permitted the FBI, the National Security Agency, the CIA, Pentagon and other law-enforcement and military agencies to conduct unprecedented data collection against the people.
Thousands have been targeted because of their political beliefs and activities, their religious beliefs, their race and ethnicity, or because they inadvertently fell into one of the many broad categories to justify and execute the sweeping data collection programs. This is the modern-day variant of the discredited witch-hunts of the 1950s.
We call on the Obama Administration and Congress to order a complete audit of law-enforcement and military data and record-keeping systems and to disclose to the public the scope and parameters of data-collection on people and organizations in the United States.
The people’s rights protected under the Constitution are fundamentally diminished unless these illegal operations are halted and the rights of all people are restored by the identification of data collection programs, and the expunging of those databases.