Wednesday, April 16, 2008


April 15, 2008

Mayor, Council-members, I always thought there was a difference between saying and doing. . . .

I have come in these past weeks and tried to point out what seem to be outrages committed against the Constitution and the rule of law, by the Bush Administration.

Thus far, neither the mayor nor anyone on the council has challenged me on the facts I've brought before you, other than to express no interest in doing anything about it.

Suppose I'm right, and the Bush Administration has indeed violated laws or otherwise posed a threat to the Constitution? Wouldn't you be obligated to act according to your sworn oath to speak up in defense of the Constitution and the rule of law?

By not acting, by not speaking out, all of you, each of you, appear to say that you can find no violations of law, no usurpation of power by the Bush Administration, no threat or even the appearance of a threat, to the Constitution. Nothing's wrong. Everything's fine.

And you have strenuously argued that you are all people of conscience and that you take your oath to defend the Constitution seriously. . . .

Recently, the National Lawyers Guild voted unanimously calling for impeachment of the President and Vice President, citing the oath they took to defend the Constitution.

"It is time," they said, "for the legal community to rise up in defense of the rule of law."

The American Bar Association, the largest and most conservative legal arm in America, has stated that the Bush Administration has violated the FISA law in its warrantless wiretapping program.

They also called on Congress to override Bush's claim to the right to torture prisoners in U.S. custody.

The American Association of Jurists has said that the war in Iraq is not a war in self-defense, but a war of aggression, thus a violation of the U.N. Charter--which makes it a war crime. Past president of the U.N. Koffi Annan agrees.

George W. Bush himself has claimed, in written documents and public statements, that his administration need not obey the laws passed by Congress, nor be subject to judicial oversight.

But here in Fort Worth, we see no threat to the Constitution, no violations of the law.

In Fort Worth, we believe the National Lawyers Guild is wrong. The American Bar Association is wrong. The Center for Constitutional Rights is wrong. Human Rights Watch is wrong. Koffi Annan is wrong. And Britain's third most senior judge, who called Guantanamo a "monstrous failure of justice". . .is wrong.

And surely no one here would stand by and watch another human being tortured without trying to stop it. Because we're all people of conscience here.

Thank you.

The mayor was absent this day, so I mailed him a copy of the speech with this note attached:

Dear Mr. Mayor,

Sorry not to see you at Tuesday morning's meeting. I knew how sorely disappointed you would be to miss the latest chapter in my project to get you and the Council to do the right thing. So I thought I'd drop it in the mail in the off-chance that you might actually have three spare minutes to read it.

Very best wishes and regards,



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