For further background, see this pdf: http://cdt.org/secur...sed-changes.pdf
I would ask you to carefully read the FAX I just sent to both my Senator's and all of my Representatives, with a view as to deciding whether you will send the same letter to yourstates' Senator's (both of them) and Representatives (all of them).
If you agree with my viewpoint, I'd also like to point everyone you know towards this thread (emailing everyone iin your address book included).
Should they not re-discover the spine that led them vow to reform the 'patriot' act and fight this so-called "compromise", I see no reason whatsoever to hope that any meaningful change could further be accomplished regarding the 'patriot' act, NSA wiretapping of Americans, or any of the other abuses that we're seeing and will continue to see in the future should not the cornerstone of the whole process (the patriot act) not be reined in.
This is what I faxed:
How can you fail us now on ‘patriot’ act re-authorization??
Given the outcry over illegal N.S.A wire-tapping of American citizens – as well as recent exposure of even more insidious programs such as ADVISE, StarLight and Trailblazer – it is totally beyond belief that nearly everyone involved with the ‘patriot’ act re-authorization is now simply willing to roll over on both the Constitution and the American public by allowing a “compromise” version of the re-authorization to simply float through without there being any significant changes made to improve accountability, force effective oversight, limit the new grab for even more power and penalties for non-compliance and stop the further erosion of States’ rights by eliminating the “meth” provision and other associated pork involved with the currently-proposed version.
Sen. Spector – a Republican – has stated that he is drafting legislation that would require the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to review the constitutionality of the administration's monitoring of terror-related international communications when one party to the call is in the United States.
Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., chairwoman of a House intelligence subcommittee that oversees the NSA, broke with the Bush administration and called for a full review of the NSA's program, along with legislative action to update the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., (the strongest Republican supporter of the ‘patriot’ act) sent a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales with 51 questions he wants answered by early March.
One of 10 FISA judges, federal Judge James Robertson, submitted his resignation -- in protest of the president's action, according to two sources familiar with his decision.
Yet you – our supposedly powerful Senators and Representatives – sit there silently like chastised little children when the Executive Branch refuses to give you the information regarding these things that you absolutely need to make an intelligent, fair decision on how they need to be handled.
Do you not see something wrong with this picture?
Do you not realize that the upcoming “re-authorization” vote is your final chance to both make the ‘patriot’ act right and give yourselves the handle and re-claim the authority to truly begin straightening out all the extra-“patriot” issues we’re beginning to see?
This is no time to “compromise” – this is the time to stick to your principles, remember your oath to the Constitution and make the ‘patriot’ act right.
It is your one, only and final chance to do so. Please do not let us and future generations of Americans down.
I respectfully request that this letter be read aloud and entered into the record at the re-authorization hearing next week. Thank you.