2012 elections: Bill of Rights missing
If President Barack Obama is re-elected, more of us will continue to lose our constitutional rights to the presumption of innocence, basic to due process, along with other hard-won definitions of being American.
So far, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has omitted any reference to how the Obama administration has gone beyond George W. Bush and Dick Cheney in ignoring the Constitution’s separation of powers — and, thus, our separation from our history.
Deeply aware of the importance of this election for the future of our nation, John Hanrahan — former executive director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism and a past reporter for The Washington Post — agrees with the assessment of my congressman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and quotes from a speech the congressman gave on the floor of the House last year:
“In the last 10 years, we have begun to let go of our freedoms, bit by bit, with each new executive order, court decision and, yes, act of Congress. We have begun giving away our rights to privacy, our right to our day in court when the government harms us, and, with this legislation (the National Defense Authorization Act), we are continuing down the path of destroying the right to be free from imprisonment without due process of law.”
In a post titled “The press needs to expose the siege of democracy, not abet it” (niemanwatchdog.org, July 6), Hanrahan is speaking for the most influential organization among journalists, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard, whose Nieman Fellows — having been awarded a year’s residence — have won in their careers 99 Pulitzer Prizes.
Hanrahan is currently on special assignment for NiemanWatchdog.org — a separate program there that is intended to encourage reporters to be more aggressive in questioning the powerful.
In his column, Hanrahan points out what’s vitally missing from too many sources’ coverage of the 2012 presidential election by citing this reminder:
“As for the broadcast media, where is the network documentary about this rollback of civil liberties, a la the Edward R. Murrow expose of Senator Joseph McCarthy’s assault on democracy back in the 1950s?”
I experienced the chilling
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