Pitco to hold hearings on civil liberties | AspenTimes.com

Pitco to hold hearings on civil liberties

Pitkin County commissioners, in response to Bush administration and federal spy agency activities, will hold a hearing on civil liberties and the Bill of Rights in June.The commissioners on Tuesday also agreed to retake their oaths of office on July 4 in order to reaffirm their commitment to the Constitution.A resolution the Woody Creek Caucus passed in March inspired the Pitkin County officials’ actions. The Woody Creek resolution is part of a nationwide, grassroots response to what some perceive as constitutionally questionable practices by spy agencies and the White House. Currently, more than 400 city governments, communities and state governments have reaffirmed the Bill of Rights.Recent news reports have shown that for nearly five years, the National Security Agency has obtained all calling records from AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth. Media reports also recently revealed that President Bush issued a secret order to the NSA empowering it to wiretap Americans without a warrant. The scope of Pitkin County’s hearings will include discussion of the following: Authority to use warrantless searches and seizures without probable cause Authority to hold U.S. citizens as enemy combatants without access to federal court Practices on chilling freedom of speech Imposition of secrecy on such actionsThe resolution, which former Pitkin County Commissioner Dwight Shellman wrote, received unanimous approval from current commissioners. The hearing will be at 6 p.m. June 29.Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com

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