Senator Christopher Dodd has just posted a note to his official Senate web page, confirming that the FISA Amendments Act will be brought by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the Senate floor tomorrow for debate and a vote, threatening to cement into American law a government electronic spy network with the power to listen to your telephone calls, read your emails, intercept your online financial transactions, and watch where you go and what you do on the Internet — without the court oversight and approval mandated by the United States Constitution. The FISA Amendments Act, if passed, would even prevent citizens from having the standing to challenge the constitutionality of its provisions in a court of law, making lawsuits to stop the nonsense illegal!
But wait, there’s more, there’s a glimmer of hope. Senator Christopher Dodd also confirms in his message that he will filibuster this bill if he must to keep it from passing:
Few things are more detrimental to this country than the erosion of and attack on the civil liberties we enjoy. This isnâ€™t a Democratic issue or a Republican issue; this is an American issue. If after debate, the Senate appears ready to pass legislation granting telecom providers retroactive immunity I will use any and all legislative tools at my disposal, including a filibuster, to prevent this deeply flawed bill from becoming law. More and more, Americans are rejecting the false choice that has come to define this administration: security or liberty, but never, ever both. For all those who have stood with me throughout this fight, I pledge, once more, to stand up for you.
Senator Dodd will do all he can to stop the bill tomorrow. For that I’m sincerely and sorely thankful. But if 60 Senators vote to end his filibuster, then they’ll be able to shut Chris Dodd up, roll over him and pass this abomination of a bill into law. The real question tonight is whether there are 41 Senators of sufficient caliber, 41 Senators who sufficiently respect the Constitution that they will be willing to help Christopher Dodd’s filibuster stand, to stand by him as he continues debate, to support the filibuster by taking a turn at the podium and speaking themselves.
Call your Senators tonight. Call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to the offices of the two Senators for your home state. Fill up their voicemail systems with demands that they support Senator Dodd’s filibuster against the FISA Amendments Act. If their DC voicemail systems are already filled up, find your Senators’ websites, write down their local office numbers and call there, too. Let them know you aren’t the idiot they think you are with your head stuck in your navel. Let them know you care enough about liberty in this country to hold them accountable.
Then tomorrow, come what may, you can hold your head high. After tomorrow, you can thank your Senators — or hold them accountable.