Defeat the FISA warrantless wiretapping Bill ( HR 6034 )URGENT! ACT NOW!
- Defeat the FISA warrantless wiretapping Bill ( HR 6034 )URGENT! ACT NOW!Call your Senators through the switchboard at 202-224-3121or dial direct
The Senate will cast its final vote on warrantless wiretapping late Tuesday or Wednesday. We need to flood Congress with letters and calls demanding a no vote on the FISA bill. There are relevant ammendments to the FISA warrantless wiretapping Bill. Ask your Senator to stand for liberty and the law, and vote in favor of the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy Amendment. Dodd-Feingold-Leahy Amendment stops retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies.
Call your Senators through the switchboard at 202-224-3121 or dial direct
or let BlueAmerica connect you for free:
Statement on HR 6304, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments
20 June 2008
Rep. Ron Paul, M.D.
Madam Speaker, I regret that due to the unexpected last-minute appearance of this measure on the legislative calendar this week, a prior commitment has prevented me from voting on the FISA amendments. I have strongly opposed every previous FISA overhaul attempt and I certainly would have voted against this one as well.
The main reason I oppose this latest version is that it still clearly violates the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution by allowing the federal government to engage in the bulk collection of American citizens’ communications without a search warrant. That US citizens can have their private communication intercepted by the government without a search warrant is anti-American, deeply disturbing, and completely unacceptable.
In addition to gutting the fourth amendment, this measure will deprive Americans who have had their rights violated by telecommunication companies involved in the Administration’s illegal wiretapping program the right to seek redress in the courts for the wrongs committed against them. Worse, this measure provides for retroactive immunity, whereby individuals or organizations that broke the law as it existed are granted immunity for prior illegal actions once the law has been changed. Ex post facto laws have long been considered anathema in free societies under rule of law. Our Founding Fathers recognized this, including in Article I section 9 of the Constitution that “No bill of attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.” How is this FISA bill not a variation of ex post facto? That alone should give pause to supporters of this measure.
Mr. Speaker, we should understand that decimating the protections that our Constitution provides us against the government is far more dangerous to the future of this country than whatever external threats may exist. We can protect this country without violating the Constitution and I urge my colleagues to reconsider their support for this measure.
Senate Schedules FISA Debate for Next Week Written by JBS Staff Thursday, 03 July 2008 11:09
The Senate is presently on its Independence Day recess but will take up debate on an overhaul of electronic surveillance rules next week. The bill under consideration would rewrite the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).
Majority Leader Harry Reid said that the Senate would take up the House-passed bill (H.R. 6304) on July 8. He and other leaders agreed to a plan for consideration of the bill that is expected to lead to the Senate passing the legislation for President Bush’s signature.
Reid had hoped to finish the bill last week, but the Senate agenda was crowded and some Democrats who oppose the legislation refused to go along with efforts to speed its consideration.
Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin cited the opposition of Russ Feingold as the major factor in the delay. Feingold argues the bill would jeopardize the privacy of U.S. citizens and shield the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program from any investigation.
The bill would rewrite FISA to allow warrantless surveillance of foreign targets who may be communicating with people in the United States, although with some court supervision of surveillance procedures. It is the result of a bipartisan deal by House and Senate leaders reached this month; the House passed it on June 20 by a vote of 239-129.
The issue drawing the most opposition is a provision that effectively would grant retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies being sued for assisting the warrantless surveillance program. The Senate will vote next week on an amendment that would strip the bill of its immunity provision. The amendment would need only a majority vote for adoption, although a vote on a similar amendment during consideration in February of another FISA bill (S. 2248) received only 31 votes. On top of that, the bipartisan deal has gained the support of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
It is ironic that, at a time when we are celebrating our precious freedoms and rights, our representatives in Washington want to eviscerate our treasured right to privacy in our own homes and let lawbreaking telecommunications companies off the hook for handing over private information without a warrant.
Contact your senators and tell them what the 4th of July means to you and ask them to defend your freedom by opposing the unconstitutional FISA bill.