This is Allie Bohm's post at the ACLU Blog of Rights:
You did it! Yesterday, we told you that the House of Representatives would be voting today on the Patriot Act. We asked you to get angry, to show Congress that you care about this nearly-10-year old law, and to tell your representatives that you want the Patriot reformed so that the government can no longer use it to violate the rights of everyday people who have nothing to do with terrorism. Well, Congress heard you loud and clear. Tonight, around 7 pm, the House failed to get enough votes to extend the Patriot Act until Dec. 8, 2011. You can see how your representative voted here.
We hope you’ll celebrate this victory tonight. We know we will.
But, tomorrow, we will have to get back to work. Three provisions of the Patriot Act still expire on February 28, and undoubtedly, this is not the last we’ve seen of efforts to reauthorize them sans reform. We need you to stay strong and work with us to make sure your members of Congress reform the Patriot Act this year. You have a tremendous amount of power, and you just proved it. Thank you, and keep it up!
By being like The Nation which can't stop obsessing either?
How do we do it, ACLU, when no one wants to pay attention?
I'm going to note one more thing from the ACLU because it takes place tomorrow:
On Thursday, Steven Watt from the ACLU's Human Rights Program will participate in a roundtable discussion on diplomatic assurances against torture at Columbia Law School in New York City. Join us! The discussion is open to the public:
When: Thursday, February 10, 4:20 - 6:20 pm
Where: Columbia Law School, 435 W 116th Street, Jerome Greene Hall Room 103
Diplomatic assurances are promises between countries that persons transferred from one county to another will not be tortured in the destination country. Our government relies on these assurances to return noncitizens to countries with well-documented records of torture. The government's position is, notwithstanding such a record, because of the assurance, the person will be safe. Unfortunately, these assurances — which are akin to handshakes between countries — are inherently unenforceable. Indeed, in many instances we have to take our government's word that they even exist, because the State Department insists that these "assurances" are kept secret.
There's a lot to fix and focus on in this country (including our illegal wars) but we're not going to do that if we can't look away from the soap opera of Egypt each day for long enough to follow what our own government is doing.
Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"