Saturday :: Jun 4, 2005

ACLU


by eriposte

This post is prompted by a couple of things I read today. First, this article by Stephanie Strom in the Times:

The American Civil Liberties Union has been shredding some documents over the repeated objections of its records manager and in conflict with its longstanding policies on the preservation and disposal of records.

The matter has fueled a dispute at the organization over internal operations, one of several such debates over the last couple of years, and has reignited questions over whether the A.C.L.U.'s own practices are consistent with its public positions...

Go read the whole article to see what you make of it. It may be harmless (one of the shredding events is described thusly: "...shredded documents in the bags were résumés from the human resources department, a memorandum said...") or it may be significant. I don't know.

Second, this post by Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars:

A blog called Patriots for Bush has linked to an article I wrote in a post about how thoroughly evil the ACLU is. "The American Patriot" writes:

The ACLU is the most unpopular entity in America next to the Klan and the Nazi’s, I wonder how long it will be before they defend one of those two groups. Oops, wait a minute, they already have.

But if you follow the link, you see that I was in fact writing about the ACLU defending not the Nazis or the KKK (though they have, and rightfully so), but about them defending Jerry Falwell! Now of course, they could have linked to the many posts I've written about the ACLU defending the rights of Christian individuals, churches and organizations - but that might just get in the way of the story they're trying to sell. And let's not little things like the truth get in the way of aperfectly good spook story....

(Incidentally, it's not just Jerry Falwell or the KKK - it is also ironical that the ACLU even came out in support of an unAmerican ACLU-hating fraud like Rush Limbaugh.)

The point of this post is that it is hard to compartmentalize the ACLU. The ACLU is frequently trashed by crackpots and frauds on the Far Right, but I think it is fair to say that, on the whole, they are the most patriotic and American of all organizations in the United States because their focus is (in large part) on ensuring that Governments and Government-affiliated agencies/organizations behave in accordance with the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Indeed, I do disagree with their positions sometimes (e.g., death penalty, illegal immigration...) and they are not always right (who is?) - but that is a matter for discourse and debate; on balance they are doing far more good than harm. In the end, law-abiding Americans will be much worse off without an organization like the ACLU.

P.S. This is a link for ACLU-hating trolls.

eriposte :: 2:56 PM :: Comments (6) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!