Communication from Sen. Leahy: I oppose the new FISA bill

Dear Carol,

For many months now, the Leahy for Vermont community and online activists everywhere have urged Congress to fix FISA the right way: by passing a bill that protects both our national security and our civil liberties. Together, we have had a huge impact on this debate, calling for legislation that protects Americans from the Bush-Cheney Administration's relentless assault on the Constitution, and we should be extremely proud of these efforts.

A Reminder of Republican Failures

First off, a chart of the telco contributions to Republicans vs. Democrats. It came in handy during a conversation about FISA and telco immunity where someone tried to illustrate how the "trial lawyers" going after the telcos were "buying off" Democrats. When I countered stating that the Telcos themselves had bought off Republicans, the fool said "Show me" -- so, I did. :)


Also important to remember -- the legacy that the George W. Presidency leave us, via

Why the House Dems May Be Finally Showing Some Backbone

All of us have expressed plenty of frustrated anger over the congressional Dems failure to act on the 2006 voter mandate. Time and again we have seen them capitulating to Bush for fear of appearing soft on the War on Terrorism or failing our troops, and so on. Finally signs of change are appearing on the horizon.

Thank you Senator Dodd!

Promoted - standingup

Via Missy's Brother at My Left Nutmeg, Americans thank Senator Chris Dodd for working to protect The Constitution and the Bill of Rights in the FISA battle:

The rest of Congress could learn a thing or two about leadership from Senator Dodd, and we thank him for his efforts in protecting our freedoms. Keep up the good work! FISA facts below the fold!

With "Protectors" Like This...

Cross posted from TortDeform.Com

"It is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad."--James Madison

The significance of this quote, shared by Senator Dodd during hearing statements last fall--can be observed now amidst the newest round of debates over whether telecommunications companies that illegally spied on the American public (by doing things like tracking what blogs we read, reading our emails, listening in on our phone calls, and keeping track of our activity on password protected sites) should be granted retroactive immunity for violating our constitutional right to privacy.

I've ranted about this issue before. But the Administration's apparently increasing gall and contempt for the law notwithstanding, and its undying commitment to shielding corporate friends from the effect of the law aside, let's focus instead on the lie of so-called "liability protection" and what it really means for the public and our civil justice system.

Where Did FISA Come From

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was signed into law in 1978 after revelations made by theChurch Committee investigating the abuses of the Nixon administration. While Richard Nixon and members of his administration were caught and punished these abuses did not begin with the election of 1968. Look back to the 1950's and one will discover that both the CIA and the FBI had begun spying on ordinary Americans in earnest through the opening of ordinary mail.

Rocky Mountain Hijinks: Colorado Republicans Tap Database for Political Purposes

promoted for visibility by roxy
originally published Mon, 12/17/2007 - 22:04

We have been hearing from the Bush Administration about the need to create federal databases, and to intercept electronic communications without the use of warrants. First we were told that spying would help to keep us safe from terrorists. Now we have learned, via the New York Times, that prior to 9-11, Bush spied on Americans' communications with Latin America to prosecute its "War on Drugs." We are informed in the same article that Bush sought to build his capacity to gather information about entire neighborhoods without warrants.

The story below the break describes the local misuse, by Republican politicians, of a criminal database to further a political campaign. Coincidentally enough, the case involves communications with Latin America in the War on Drugs.