Thursday, February 07, 2008

Action Alert: Call your Congressional representatives TODAY to stop passage of the warrantless eavesdropping law

This morning I received the People's E-mail Network urgent message to contact my representatives TODAY to stop passage of the “Protect America Act.”

From PEN: Please AGAIN call all your members of Congress, toll free at 800-828-0498, 800-614-2803 or 866-340-9281, and submit the No Immunity of Any Kind Action Page to back that up with an email message. 1) Tell them NO immunity and YES to making FISA the exclusive means or surveillance.

Here are my FAQs:

Question: Why shouldn’t the telephone companies be granted immunity if they acted in “good faith” by turning over all our phone and e-mail records to the government when asked?

Answer: “Good faith” is not a sufficient defense to violating laws. None of us could get away with it.

On January 17th, Glenn Greenwald posted ""Lawbreaking telecoms still conniving to obtain immunity from Congress." Excerpts: “Manifestly, retroactive immunity is something available only to the largest, lobbyist-using corporations, and is not something that ordinary Americans would ever even get a hearing on. ....

“...[I]mmunity would be a complete evisceration of the rule of law, bizarrely protecting telecoms from the consequences of their lawbreaking and putting an end to any real hope for investigating and obtaining accountability for years of illegal spying on Americans by the Bush administration. When you put all of that together, telecom immunity embodies every form of lawlessness and corruption which are destroying our political culture….

“In fact, the ability of the rich and well-connected to obtain immunity from lawbreaking is one of the hallmarks of corrupt oligarchy, one of the surest signs of the breakdown of basic justice.”

Question: Isn’t our safety from terrorist attacks threatened if the “Protect America Act” isn’t extended?


Answer: No. The FISA bill that the Protect America Act would replace is still in place. It allows for emergency (warrantless) electronic surveillance when the Attorney General determines that it’s necessary. Then, within 72 hours of the AG’s authorization, he/she must obtain a judicial order issued by the FISA court. That’s our protection, folks.

(Cartoon: Image Shack)

5 comments:

John in Cincinnati said...

After going on eight years of blatant disregard for the Constitution and U.S. law, it's time to bring accountability back to this country.

John in Cincinnati said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tod said...

Ah, but John...who is going to do that? Hilary? Obama?

How are you, as a citizen, going to bring about this accountability? Through the ballot box?

Not a rhetorical questions. ..looking for The Answer.

Tod

Oisin G'Dea said...

I LOVE the cartoon, brilliant!
:) good to have a smile in the midst of this.
Pilar

John in Cincinnati said...

tod @ 2:24p

No one is going to bring back accountability by him- or herself.

In the context of Gail's post, what I could do--and what I did do--was to express my position to my legislators.