ANN WRIGHT – President Trump is becoming the third post-9/11 president to prosecute bloody conflicts in the Mideast and impose mass surveillance at home, with no end in sight.
DAVID SWANSON – The House of Representatives has headed out of town to memorialize wars without managing to achieve agreement with the Senate on reauthorizing some of the most abusive â€œtemporaryâ€ measures of the PATRIOT Act. Three cheers for Congressional vacations! What if not just our civil liberties but our budget got a little bit of 2001 back?
NORMAN SOLOMON – The morning after final passage of the USA Freedom Act, while some foes of mass surveillance were celebrating, Thomas Drake sounded decidedly glum. The new law, he told me, is â€œa new spy program.â€ It restarts some of the worst aspects of the Patriot Act and further codifies systematic violations of Fourth Amendment rights. Later on Wednesday, here in Oslo as part of a â€œStand Up For Truthâ€ tour, Drake warned at a public forum that â€œnational securityâ€ has become â€œthe new state religion.â€ Meanwhile, his Twitter messages were calling the USA Freedom Act an â€œitty-bitty stepâ€ â€” and a â€œstop/restart kabuki shell gameâ€ that â€œstarts w/ restarting bulk collection of phone records.â€
DENNIS KUCINICH – Late Thursday night [December 11], the House of Representatives unanimously passed a far-reaching Russia sanctions bill, a hydra-headed incubator of poisonous conflict. The second provocative anti-Russian legislation in a week, it further polarizes our relations with Russia, helping to cement a Russia-China alliance against Western hegemony, and undermines long-term Americaâ€™s financial and physical security by handing the national treasury over to war profiteers.
REP. JOHN CONYERS, JR – On February 8, we were able to vote down the House Republican Leadership’s effort to extend the PATRIOT Act surveillance law. It was a bipartisan victory, as most House Democrats and 26 brave Republicans voted to stop the bill under the special rules the Republicans invoked. I was proud to take the lead in fighting this effort to further erode our civil liberties and even more pleased to be joined by Republican civil libertarians like Ron Paul of Texas.