Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 83 Astral Silver 280 SL
Location: Planet Houston
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Here, another politician speaking the truth, with another attempt by the right wing to Swift Boat him:
Atheists applaud Ellison's views on Cheney, Libby, 9/11
"You'll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists," he told the group.
By Mike Kaszuba, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Last update: July 08, 2007 â€“ 8:40 PM
Freshman Congressman Keith Ellison was among friends Sunday -- in this case, a gathering of atheists -- so his support for a fistful of hot-button opinions, including the impeachment of Vice President Dick Cheney, brought enthusiastic nods of approval and standing ovations.
As he was introduced to the eclectic gathering, which included one man wearing a black T-shirt that read "Investigate 9/11," Ellison was told that after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Muslims had joined atheists at the bottom of popular opinion polls.
"You'll always find this Muslim standing up for your right to be atheists all you want," Ellison, the first Muslim to serve in Congress, said in a speech to more than 100 atheists at the Southdale Library in Edina. As Minnesota's first black member of the U.S. House ends his first six months in office, Ellison did not disappoint a crowd that seemed energized the more pointed he made his opinions.
On impeaching Cheney, which the Minneapolis DFLer supports: "[It is] beneath his dignity in order for him to answer any questions from the citizens of the United States. That is the very definition of totalitarianism, authoritarianism and dictatorship."
On calling the war in Iraq an "occupation": "It's not controversial to call it an occupation -- it is an occupation."
On commuting the prison sentence of Cheney aide Lewis Libby: "If Libby gets pardoned, then he should not have the cover of the Fifth Amendment. He's going to have to come clean and tell the truth. Now, he could get Gonzales-itis [referring to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales], you know, with 71 lapses of memory within a two-hour period."
On comparing Sept. 11 to the burning of the Reichstag building in Nazi Germany: "It's almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I'm not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that's how they put you in the nut-ball box -- dismiss you."
On President Bush's "faith-based" initiative: "This is basically the Department of Religious Outreach ... it's essentially a public-relations outreach arm for the Bush administration to reach out to the far right of the evangelical Christian movement. That's really all it is."
Ellison's noontime speech before Atheists for Human Rights, a Minneapolis-based group, drew the largest gathering in recent memory for the organization, said Marie Castle, the group's spokeswoman. "We're trying to upgrade the image of atheists," Castle said of the 350-member group. "They don't think we have a moral compass."
Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.
-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address