Several board members of the American Civil Liberties Union expressed concerns at a meeting yesterday over proposed standards that would prohibit board members from publicly criticizing the organization’s policies and internal operations.
“I cannot vote for these proposals, as I have violated them nearly every time I have written an op-ed piece or spoken to the press,” said Mary Ellen Gale, an at-large member.
Bennett Hammer, a board member representing the organization’s New Mexico affiliate, cited examples of decisions in the last few years that he said had embarrassed the A.C.L.U. and contended that adopting the proposals would be yet another of “the things that have made us a laughingstock with the public.”
The board nonetheless voted against motions to strike the controversial provisions from the proposals and instead opted for further discussion.
So once the heat subsides, the ACLU may still limit the free speech rights of its members to criticize its own decisions. But the heat may not subside: a lawyer in the NY Attorney General’s office has warned the ACLU that its proposed regulations may be illegal.
A lawyer in the New York state attorney general’s office informally warned the American Civil Liberties Union that his office had concerns about proposed standards that would limit the group’s board members from speaking publicly about policies and internal operations, according to three board members.
Part of me hopes the ACLU goes ahead and adopts this silly proposal. Doing so might finally show what the organization’s current leadership is really all about: fundraising, not civil liberties, and halting real public debate, not fostering it. Much of the ACLU’s recent partnerships with CAIR (a group that routinely tries to curb free speech when it comes to criticizing Islamic connections to terrorism) to help the Gitmo terrorists probably have a lot to do with that. One also has to wonder why the ACLU has taken to helping illegal aliens thwart American citizens’ patrols on the border, too. That action ended up smearing US citizens to the benefit of non-citizens. Turn over one or two rocks around ACLU HQ and you’re likely to find George Soros underneath, massive check in hand.