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Confirmed: Dodd Will Filibuster FISA Amendments Act Again if Necessary

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 isn’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.

9 thoughts on “Confirmed: Dodd Will Filibuster FISA Amendments Act Again if Necessary”

  1. Tom says:

    Why aren’t more of our “representatives” getting involved in repealing this odious, unconscionable act of unconstitutional behavior?

  2. Jim says:

    Have you called your “representatives”? Have your neighbors? Have your coworkers?

  3. J. Clifford says:

    Oh, Tom, your questions are getting more and more on target every day. Yes, I think that’s a good topic for discussion – is blackmail involved, I wonder?

  4. Iroquois says:

    Blackmail? Oh, my stars, I was thinking more in terms of campaign contributions.

  5. J. Clifford says:

    Iroquois, remember Nixon breaking in to the Democratic Party Headquarters?

    Imagine if Nixon had the power, as George W. Bush has, thanks to the Protect America Act, to track the emails, telephone calls, and Internet use by members of Congress, their aides, and their families. You think Nixon wouldn’t have used and abused that power?

    Do you think George W. Bush, Cheney and Karl Rove have been above that?

  6. Jim says:

    J. Clifford, that reminds me of the power J. Edgar Hoover had. He was able to remain fixed at the top of the FBI for decades. How? Because he abused the power to engage in surveillance in order to get dirt on everybody in Washington. Nobody would challenge his abuse of power because everybody was being blackmailed. Classic abuse of power story, and it’s what happens when we trust individual people to be nice instead of relying on the rule of law, not people.

  7. Iroquois says:

    It goes back farther than that, J.Clifford. The late FBI director J Edgar Hoover had that absolute power over a succession of presidents, thanks to the red scare. Probably blackmailed them too. Him and his creepy little boyfriend.

    Reid’s DC phone mailbox is full. Obama’s phone is still accepting messages.

    Don’t forget you can also use their communication system to send an email to your own senator. They won’t have time to read them right away, but a huge number of email messages first thing in the morning will certainly have an impact.

  8. Jim says:

    Holy simultaneous posts, Batman! Or, as I think the kiddie standard mandates: “Jinx!”

  9. Iroquois says:

    Or as my mother would say, great minds run on the same tracks.

    The kiddie standards must be respected though, but where I come from, you have to link pinky fingers to evade the jinx. What’s the emoticon for that? Maybe X?

    What are the grownup standards–will phone calls to the senate switchboard prevent this jinx, or do we need to call Reid’s home state offices again? Seems like less blogosphere activity this time around.

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