Tuesday, June 26

Quick Truths

“President Bush was presented with a letter Monday signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to ‘violations of the human rights’ of terror suspects held by the United States.” The handwritten letter said in part, “We do not want America to represent torture.” Bush “took a moment to read it and talk with a young woman who handed it to him.”

“Iraq’s conflict is exacting an immense and largely unnoticed psychological toll on children and youth that will have long-term consequences.” A World Health Organization survey of Iraqi children under 10 found that 47 percent reported being “exposed to a major traumatic event over the past two years.”

239. Number of bills the House of Representatives has passed and sent to the Senate only to be held up, with conservatives “objecting to just about every major piece of legislation that [Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)] has tried to bring up.”

Yesterday’s Supreme Court decisions show the new “muscle” of the conservative majority, but USA Today notes a division between the far-right justices who are “eager to overturn previous decisions” and the new Bush appointees who are “reluctant” to “completely gut court precedents.”

“The U.S. Conference of Mayors narrowly endorsed a resolution Monday calling for the Bush administration to begin planning for the swift withdrawal of troops from Iraq.” The war is reducing federal funds “for needed domestic investments in education, health care, public safety, homeland security and more,” the resolution states.

The ACLU and other civil liberties groups have declared today a Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice. The ACLU will be “rallying on Capitol Hill and visiting congressional offices asking Congress to restore the right of habeas corpus.” Christy Hardin Smith has toll-free call-in numbers so you can contact your representatives, or sign MoveOn’s petition HERE. ACLU’s FindHabeas will be live-blogging throughout the day.

50,000. Estimated number of Iraqi refugees, “many alarmingly young,” now employed as sex workers and prostitutes in Syria.

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