ACLU


bush's legacyIt seems that George W is concerned about his legacy, and he is talking to a biographer named Robert Draper:

In book, Bush peeks ahead to his legacy

In an interview with a book author in the Oval Office one day last December, President George W. Bush daydreamed about the next phase of his life, when his time will be his own.

The articles talks about these kinds of issues

First, Bush said, “I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers.” With joint assets that have been estimated at as high as nearly $21 million, Bush added, “I don’t know what my dad gets – it’s more than 50-75” thousand dollars a speech, and “Clinton’s making a lot of money.”

Then he said, “We’ll have a nice place in Dallas,” where he will be running what he called “a fantastic Freedom Institute” promoting democracy around the world. But he added, “I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch.”

and

The transcripts and the book show Bush as being keenly interested in what history will say about his term despite his frequent comments to the contrary; as being in a reflective mode as his time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue dwindles; and, ultimately, as being at once sorrowful and optimistic – but virtually alone as commander in chief, and aware of it.

Here is the worst line in the whole article:

And in apparent reference to the invasion of Iraq, he continued, “This group-think of ‘we all sat around and decided’ – there’s only one person that can decide, and that’s the president.”

HE just wants to make money, but I think that his real legacy will include these:

  1. a million people dead because of wars that we started
  2. 3000 dead at Ground Zero, flight 93 and the Pentagon, with bin Ladin still on the loose and not even a suspect by the CIA
  3. an unsolved anthrax terrorism case that killed five people
  4. increased opium exports all around the world
  5. privatization of everything from highways to schools to prisons hospitals to the maintenance of Walter Reed hospital and rehab
  6. many millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans with no access to decent health care when they need it
  7. the drowning of a city and a whole section of another state
  8. hard times for poor people, and a whole lot more poor people
  9. most of his administration resigning on him, and some of them being investigated and tried and convicted for crimes
  10. having the whole world hate us
  11. almost (I hope) starting a war with Iran
  12. stealing elections
  13. having hookers in the white house pretending to be reporters
  14. the giant corporations having a super time while the planet heats up and regular people suffer
  15. high gas prices and high prices to heat houses
  16. spying on Americans without a warrant or even telling the FISA court
  17. locking up Americans for years without a trial
  18. locking up thousands of other people in torture camps with no lawyers and no rights
  19. making students only learn stuff that is tested in April and not the important things in each subject

I bet George won’t talk about those things when he has speaking tours. (He’ll get more for one talk than my whole family has in a year!) What do you think his legacy will be? Can someone please call the Hague?

Like most of my political posts, this is cross-posted at
Political Teen Tidbits and at YouThinkLeft.

Bob Kincaid said I should call these jails CONCENTRATION CAMPS, and I think I agree. I am really glad that the ACLU is helping out here in Texas.
Freckles

ACLU Challenges Illegal Detention of Immigrant Children Held in Prison-Like Conditions

(3/6/2007)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: media@aclu.org

Lawsuits Ask That Children and Their Families be Released From Texas Facility Under Appropriate and Humane Supervision

Former Hutto detainees joined Barbara Hines (left), Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law and co-counsel in the case, and Lisa Graybill, Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas, at the press conference.Learn more >>

AUSTIN, TX – The American Civil Liberties Union today filed lawsuits on behalf of ten immigrant children, ages 3 to 16, challenging their illegal detention at the T. Don Hutto facility in Taylor, Texas.

The lawsuits, which charge that these children are being imprisoned under inhumane conditions while their parents await immigration decisions, were filed against Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), as well as six officials from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The ACLU brought the lawsuits along with the ACLU of Texas, the University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic and the international law firm of LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP. The families represented come from countries including Lithuania, Canada, Haiti, Honduras, Somalia, and Guyana, and many have fled dangerous situations and are seeking asylum in the United States.

“There is simply no justification for imprisoning innocent children who pose no threat to anyone,” said Vanita Gupta, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s Racial Justice Program. “This is an affront to our core values as a nation. We need practical, realistic immigration policy, not draconian methods that are harming vulnerable kids.”

The lawsuits charge that by operating the Hutto facility, ICE violates its duty to meet the minimum standards and conditions for the housing and release of all minors in federal immigration custody set forth in a 1997 settlement agreement in the case of Flores v. Meese. Recognizing the vulnerability of children, that settlement established that children should generally be released promptly to family members when possible, that those who do remain in ICE’s custody be placed in the least restrictive setting available, and that regardless of where minors are housed, they be guaranteed basic educational, health, and social benefits and rights.

“ICE fails miserably to meet the required standards by placing children at Hutto,” said Barbara Hines, Clinical Professor of Law with the University of Texas School of Law Immigration Clinic. “These children, who can safely be released with their families under reasonable supervision, are basically imprisoned under conditions that do not meet generally accepted child welfare and juvenile justice standards. It is truly a disgrace.”

Approximately 400 people are currently detained in Hutto, half of them children, and many of them are refugees seeking political asylum. What ICE calls a “Family Residential Facility” is in fact a converted medium-security prison that is still functionally and structurally a prison. Children are required to wear prison garb, receive only one hour of recreation a day, Monday through Friday, and some children did not go outdoors in the fresh air the whole month of December, 2006, according to legal papers filed today. They are detained in small cells for 11-12 hours each day where they cannot keep food and toys and they have no privacy, even when using the toilet.

Despite their urgent needs, many children lack access to adequate medical, dental, and mental health treatment, and are denied meaningful educational opportunities. Guards frequently discipline children by threatening to separate them permanently from their parents, and children are prohibited from having contact visits with non-detained family members.

According to 16-year-old Egle Baubonyte, a Lithuanian girl being held at Hutto with her mother and sister, “Conditions for little kids or even babies are really bad. There’s no pediatrician. Nurses don’t care about if babies are sick. They treat us like we’re nothing.”

In 2005 and 2006, Congress directed DHS to keep immigrant families together, either by releasing them or using alternatives to detention. If detention is necessary, Congress said immigrant families should be housed in non-penal, homelike environments.

“While keeping families together is a laudable goal, there is nothing about Hutto that one can call non-penal or homelike. ICE claims that it opened Hutto to keep families together, but imprisoning families this way cannot be what Congress had in mind,” said Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU.

The lawsuits seek the release of the detained children and their families under reasonable conditions of supervision, and ask that the government be prohibited from separating the children from their parents.

“The choice is not between enforcement of immigration laws and humane treatment of immigrant families. There are various alternatives under which both can exist,” said Lisa Graybill, Legal Director of the ACLU of Texas.

Copies of the complaints, client profiles, and related materials are available online at: www.aclu.org/hutto

Prison cell for a baby and child with immigrant
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