December 27, 2007
Thank you for progress made in 2007
As 2007 winds down, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee is looking back at the challenges we’ve faced and met, and looking forward to new opportunities to work with you in 2008 to restore Bill of Rights protections for all. Thank you for all you’ve done in 2007 to change the climate in your own community and in phone calls and visits to your legislators to bring us closer to reaching that goal.
We appreciate every donation we have received so far. If you would like to support BORDC's work in 2008, click here to go to our donation page. All new or increased gifts will be matched by the Open Society Institute until a collective total of $40,000 is reached. We rely on public support to continue our work and to increase our geographic reach.
Looking back at 2007, we shared some small and large victories:
- The Department of Justice Inspector General issued a report on FBI abuses of National Security Letters.
- A federal judge declared parts of the PATRIOT Act declared unconstitutional.
- Eight state legislatures repudiated REAL ID, and 38 states introduced legislation opposing REAL ID.
- Alberto Gonzales resigned as Attorney General.
- The Supreme Court heard the case of Guantánamo detainees.
- Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Abraham exposed Combatant Status Review Tribunals as a farce of justice.
- Senator Dodd blocked a vote on a bill that would grant immunity to telecommunications companies for their role in warrantless wiretapping.
- Communities organized actions against rendition, torture, and former Attorneys General Ashcroft and Gonzales.
- Showings of the video FBI Unbound: How National Security Letters Violate Our Privacy raised public awareness.
- Two communities passed local resolutions that defy National Security Letters.
- Hard-won local resolutions against violations of our Bill of Rights also passed.
But there were setbacks too:
- Congress passed the Protect America Act, institutionalizing warrantless wiretapping, with a 6-month sunset (February 2008).
- Judge Mukasey was confirmed as Attorney General without condemning waterboarding as torture.
- Congress continued to display fear of opposing Bush’s “war on terror” policies.
Here is a roster of important news stories from 2007.
All of us at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee wish you a peaceful and just new year in 2008. Your help in making your community members recognize the need to restore our lost Bill of Rights protections is essential to winning those protections back. We hope you will join us in 2008 as BORDC continues its work to invigorate grassroots action that will hold our elected representatives accountable.
Nancy Talanian, Director
Hope Marston, West Region Organizer
Ben Grosscup, East Region Organizer
Michael Berg, Field Organizer
Barbara Haugen, Administrator