ACLU misleads feds to get cash

By WND Staff

The American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, signed a promise saying it wouldn’t hire anyone on terrorism watch lists – a requirement for receiving payroll donations from federal employees – and later admitted it had no intention of actually checking names on the rosters of those suspected of terror ties.

Since October, organizations benefiting from the Combined Federal Campaign have been required to certify that they would not hire people whose names appear on watch lists compiled by the federal government, the U.N. and the European Union. The ACLU signed the agreement in January, reports columnist John Leo today.

“Not hiring people who might want to blow up our cities would seem to be a modest step if you want the government to help in your fund-raising,” writes Leo, “but inside the ACLU this was a wildly controversial idea. But the organization wanted the money, so it made a decision: Make the agreement, but don’t live up to it.”

ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero noted the agreement said an organization could not “knowingly” hire a person on the lists, so he simply decided intentionally not to refer to them.

Leo cites comments Romero made on National Public Radio: “I’ve printed them out [but] I’ve never consulted them.”

Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU board, said that the “knowingly” gambit was “a very reasonable, certainly clever interpretation.”

Writes Leo: “The Romero excuse will now take its place alongside ‘It depends on what the meaning of the word is is’ and ‘He was never alone in a hotel with her.'”

Leo points out Romero sounded as if he thought his group’s action was honorable.

“No amount of money is worth violating our principles,” Romero is quoted as saying. “We would never terminate or kick off board members or staff members because of their associational rights.”

Though the ACLU board voted July 9 to honor the agreement after all, Romero later terminated it and has joined with other nonprofit groups to protest what he calls the government’s “black list.”

According to the Associated Press, 15 nonprofits have joined the ACLU in the protest, threatening to go to court to end the watch-list requirement. The groups claim the list is riddled with errors and that organizations that sign the agreement might be inhibited from hiring people with Arab names.

The Combined Federal Campaign raises as much as $250 million a year for more than 2,000 nonprofit organizations, AP reported. Federal employees and military personnel may donate to the charity of their choice. The ACLU stands to lose $500,000 in donations through the program.

Speaking on “Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily RadioActive” today, former Republican Rep. Bob Barr, who has worked with the ACLU on some issues since leaving office, says he doesn’t believe organizations should have to comply with government watch lists, which he said were fraught with errors.

If you’d like to sound off on this issue, please take part in the WorldNetDaily poll.