The Statement of Ramsey Clark to The Washington Conference on Civil Liberties in America,

October 25, 2003.

Civil Liberties in America have never been in greater danger. We have a Presidential Administration that is on a crusade against "evil" and evil, as the U.S. Supreme Court said of Dred Scott, "has no rights". President Bush calls the "evil" "terrorism" and employs unbridled terror to combat it.

The real evil the Bush Administration fights is against any interference with the divine rights of wealth. It wants to dominate world resources like oil by Shock and Awe and to exploit the labor of poor countries by debt to foreign wealth and preferential trade practices it calls "free," that insure US market domination even of agricultural products in poor countries; corn in Mexico, cotton in Sudan.

At home, the Bush Administration has launched attacks on every protection of the Bill of Rights. Its sweep arrests, largely of Muslims and Arabs, would embarrass Mitchell Palmer and President Harding. Lincolns' suspension of habeas corpus is nothing in comparison to illegal arrests and detentions anywhere, and the absolute degradation inflicted at Guantanamo. Present enforcement policies against aliens and for sedition pale the puny prosecutions of President John Adams. Never in this Nation of Immigrations have aliens been put in greater fear or experienced more pervasive attack.

This assault of civil liberties risks more than a temporary erosion of human rights at home. The US criminal war of aggression against, and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the nearly daily threats against Syria, Lebanon, Iran, Libya; the US opposition to Palestine, veto of Security Council resolutions to protect Palestine and votes against Palestine in the General Assembly - 130 plus for to 4 against - and the turmoil US government actions have created in Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt, Nigeria and much of the Muslim world, threaten the future of the planet with decades of violence and destruction.

The Bush Administration fuels this conflict daily. General Boykins' anti-Islam exhortations portend what will come if We, the People do not resist. The silence at first, and [then] tolerance, when confronted, of Bush and Rumsfeld reveal their empathy with the strenuous efforts of General Boykin to create a new crusade against Muslims. And what is the Generalís present role in Government? Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and War Fighting, where so much of the falsehood and aggression come from.

Muslims, friends of Islam, and all who believe in individual freedom and want peace in these United States have the highest duty to stand up, speak out and awaken the public to resist this attack on human rights and civil liberty that threatens all.

Remember the words of Benito Juarez, full blooded Zapotec Indian and twice President of Mexico, who knew "A respect for the rights of others is peace."

Congratulations on your initiative and commitment to Civil Liberties in these hours of maximum peril. Persevere!

Ramsey Clark
October 25, 2003
New York