Secret Police State

As longtime readers know, The Multiracial Activist is a plaintiff in one of the lawsuits seeking to force the Justice Department to disclose the identities of those individuals secretly arrested and detained following the terrorist attacks of September 11. For more information on the lawsuit, click here.

“Secret arrests are ‘a concept odious to a democratic society,’ and profoundly antithetical to the bedrock values that characterize a free and open one such as ours. …In enacting [the Freedom of Information Act], Congress recognized that access to government records is critical to earning and keeping citizens’ faith in their public institutions and to ensuring that those institutions operate within the bounds of the law.– Judge Gladys Kessler

Well, a new organization just opened up shop – Open The Government. From their About Us page: is an unprecedented coalition of journalists, consumer and good government groups, environmentalists, labor and others united out of a concern for what U.S. News and World Report called a "shroud of secrecy" descending over our local, state and federal governments. We're focused on making the federal government a more open place to make us safer, strengthen public trust in government, and support our democratic principles.

The organization has also created a report of its ten most requested government documents, available here (pdf). Document number six on their report pertains to our lawsuit – releasing the names of those stashed away in secret.

My appreciation goes out to Open The Government for assisting in the goal of ending the secret arrests and detentions, currently sanctioned by Attorney General Ashcroft and the Administration. Further, I want to thank Kate Martin and the rest of the staff at the Center for National Security Studies for continuing to fight against this un-American practice.

This entry also posted at A Mixed Blog.

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