Independent presidential candidate James Jerome Bell wants to stop the assault on our civil liberties that intensified after the attacks of September 11, 2001 and restore these and other freedoms to all people. During the last several decades, there has been an erosion of freedom in the United States. This has come from many sources and takes many forms, including the war on drugs and widespread imprisonment of nonviolent drug offenders; the increased use of personal identification, surveillance of employees at work, and the growing use of private security forces by corporations; restrictions on the speech of protesters and students; and random traffic stops of persons of color and the commonplace use of roadblocks. Since 9/11, this erosion has turned into a collapse of our freedoms, as then President Bush authorized torture, illegal wiretapping, indefinite detention without trial, and widespread government surveillance. James Jerome Bell believes that all such systematic degradation or elimination of our constitutional protections must stop, and that corrective measures need to be taken in a timely manner by Congress to fully reinstate all such losses of guaranteed citizen protections.
James Jerome Bell calls for the repeal of the USA Patriot Act. Many of its provisions, along with many of the other so-called National Security Acts, undermine and erode our Bill of Rights, and contribute to the destruction of the democratic foundation of checks and balances between the branches of government. He favors strictly enforcement our First Amendment rights of speech, assembly, association and petition. Federal, state and local governments must safeguard our right to public, non-violent protest. It is intolerable that law enforcement agencies intimidate lawful protesters with brutality, surveillance, repression and retaliation.
James Jerome Bell calls for the restoration of habeas corpus – a legal action to obtain relief from illegal detention – and for end of the use of indefinite detention without trial. He also call for an end to the abuse of National Security Letters, which the FBI uses to force Internet service providers, libraries, banks, and credit reporting companies to reveal sensitive information about their patrons.
He calls for an end to illegal government spying, including the use of warrantless wiretaps. Three federal judges have ruled that President Bush’s National Security Agency warrantless wiretaps violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which contains criminal sanctions. James Jerome Bell would ensure that anyone who violated the FISA is held accountable for crimes committed.
Independent presidential candidate James Jerome Bell would enact a constitutional amendment affirming that the rights outlined in our Bill of Rights are human rights and do not apply in any way to corporations.
He supports the U.S. constitutional guarantees for freedom of religion, separation of church and state, and that there shall be no religious test for public office. He will call for the elimination of federal, state, and local laws that discriminate against particular religious beliefs or non-belief and for an elimination of faith-based initiatives and charitable choice programs, whereby public funds are used to support religious organizations that may not adhere to specified guidelines and standards, including anti-discrimination laws.
He opposes the death penalty in the United States and worldwide.
He would ensure that government actions towards immigrants comply with our Constitution and universal human rights principles.
He supports strict Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure.
He recognizes that the privacy protections of the 4th amendment extend to the Internet; demanding the elimination of bulk Internet data collection by our government.
He promotes funding and promoting research into alternate Internet structures that would build in privacy.
He would support holding criminally accountable all government officials, employees and contractors who illegally spy on Americans, and who provide false, misleading or incomplete testimony to Congress about surveillance of American communications by law enforcement.