The opening phrase of the Los Angeles Times article reporting on today’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to block reform of the National Security Agency’s military surveillance of Americans’ telephone calls aptly represents the crisis in American politics reflected by the government’s spying. The vote came, the LA Times says, “after furious lobbying by the Obama administration and Republican leaders…”
Did Democratic Party members vote in 2008 and 2012 because they thought that Barack Obama would work with the Republican Party to prevent reform of George W. Bush’s unconstitutional electronic surveillance systems? President Obama seems to think so. He’s using his political capital, not to end or reform George W. Bush’s attacks on Americans’ constitutional right to protection from unreasonable search and seizure, but to prolong and extend those attacks.
U.S. Representative Justin Amash led a bipartisan coalition in the House of Representatives in an attempt to reform the NSA system of military spying on Americans’ telephone calls. The Amash amendment would have simply brought the NSA program back into accord with the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, requiring that the government identify the specific individuals it is targeting before it seizes private telephone records. Under the current NSA telephone surveillance system, the military spy agency does not identify any particular target for spying – it just spies on every American who is using a telephone.
Any member of Congress who voted against the Amash amendment would be voting against the Bill of Rights. So, naturally, the House defeated the Amash amendment.
The American people deserve to know which members of Congress voted to allow the President to continue a vast surveillance system that violates Americans’ constitutional rights, spying on Americans’ private activities on a daily basis. We’re naming names, and not for the sake of giving any political party an electoral advantage in 2014, because both Republicans and Democrats are on this list of shame:
The 83 Democrats who voted to keep the Big Brother military surveillance system targeted against Americans: