Opposing Retroactive Immunity for Wire Tapping
I've just signed on to the petition circulated by the ACLU and phoned Webb and Warner's offices as requested by John Edwards. Thought I'd pass these initiatives on.
The ACLU is circulating a petition to Harry Reid to block bill to immunize telecom companies who violated the law. Here is the link if you want to sign on. ACLU petition
After engaging in an illegal, secret surveillance program, President Bush is in no position to make demands of anyone. Americans expect you to stand up for the Constitution and the rule of law. That means:
1. Rejecting telecom immunity: President Bush is demanding immunity for companies that broke the law when they handed over phone data and emails to the NSA without a warrant. He wants Congress to bury the truth by stopping lawsuits against the phone companies. When the phone companies are off the hook, Bush is off the hook, and there would be no incentive for companies to follow the law in the future.
2. Individual warrants for Americans: Surveillance tactics that allow the government to gather huge amounts of phone and email data on Americans without a warrant are unconstitutional and violate our American principles.
Americans expect you, the most powerful member of the Senate, to lead on this issue, not cave in to President Bush and his allies in Congress. Please don’t let us down.
I also got a request by mail from the Edwards Committee to call my senators and urge them not to support the bill. I find it a good sign that Edwards is assuming the mantle of opposition spokesman within the Democratic Party on current issues.
When it comes to protecting the rule of law, words are not enough. We need action.
It's wrong for your government to spy on you. That's why I'm asking you to join me today in calling on Senate Democrats to filibuster revisions to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that would give "retroactive immunity" to the giant telecom companies for their role in aiding George W. Bush's illegal eavesdropping on American citizens.
The Senate is debating this issue right now -- which is why we must act right now. You can call your Senators here:
Granting retroactive immunity is wrong. It will let corporate law-breakers off the hook. It will hamstring efforts to learn the truth about Bush's illegal spying program. And it will flip on its head a core principle that has guided our nation since our founding: the belief that no one, no matter how well connected or what office they hold, is above the law.
But in Washington today, the telecom lobbyists have launched a full-court press for retroactive immunity. George Bush and Dick Cheney are doing everything in their power to ensure it passes. And too many Senate Democrats are ready to give the lobbyists and the Bush administration exactly what they want.
Please join me in calling on every Senate Democrat to do everything in their power -- including joining Senator Dodd's efforts to filibuster this legislation -- to stop retroactive immunity and stand up for the rule of law. The Constitution should not be for sale at any price.
Thank you for taking action.