Right wing publications like the The Washington Times and Human Events are running headlines this morning such as Fix FISA Fast and Reform FISA Now. It seems that there is a sudden, urgent push from the right wing to undo the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
It also seems that many Democrats in Congress, like Senator John Rockefeller from West Virginia, are ready to capitulate in the face of this push. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid hurried up to the White House yesterday to beg George W. Bush for a compromise. “Under pressure from President Bush, Democratic leaders in Congress are hurrying to pass legislation this week to expand the government’s electronic wiretapping powers,” writes the New York Times.
Why? Why on Earth are the Democrats in Congress in such a panic to give a President with a history of abusing the rights of American citizens, and an approval rating below 30 percent, new spying powers?
It’s been less than a year since the election of 2006, in which the American people rejected the Republican agenda and put the Democrats into majority control over Congress. Think back – did you vote Democratic so that the President of the United States would be given new powers to eavesdrop on telephone conversations? Do the Democrats in Congress really think that’s what they were elected to do?
There is no need to replace FISA with more lax legislation that gives new powers to the White House to listen in on our conversations. FISA already allows for surveillance to be quickly approved when there is proof that the surveillance is necessary for security purposes.
George W. Bush and his White House aides have no credibility on this issue. They have already been caught breaking the law spying on law-abiding Americans’ private conversations without a warrant and without FISA court approval. They have been caught in hundreds of instances of abuse of the powers to spy that they have already been given under the Patriot Act, and been caught lying to Congress about those abuses. The Bush Adminstration has been caught spying on Americans citizens’ activities on the web, reading their emails, reading their letters, sending government agents to spy on peaceful, lawful anti-Republican political groups. Alberto Gonzales has even suggested that the Bush White House is engaging in additional, illegal spying activities against the American people, and refuses to tell Congress about them.
What kind of fools are the Democrats in Congress to reward these abuses with even more spy powers for George W. Bush?
Don’t let your Democratic members of Congress betray the promise of the 2006 election. Tell your senators and your member of the House of Representatives to get a backbone and say no to new spy powers for President Bush.
Call the switchboard of the House of Representatives at (202) 224-3121.
Call the switchboard of the Senate at (202) 224-3121.
(Sources: Human Events, August 2, 2007; Washington Times, August 2, 2007; New York Times, August 1, 2007; Washington Post, August 2, 2007)