Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Tell Arlen About Outrage: Kabuki Theatre Counter-Move

As I wrote in "Big Brother Watches, Congress Dithers," Congressman Arlen Specter wanted to know, "Where's the outrage?" with reference to the warrantless spying being conducted by Our Imperial Leader.

Now we have his phone number so we can register our sentiments. Of course, it wouldn't be toll-free: why Congressional phone lines aren't is beyond me. Call Senator Arlen Specter at 202-224-4254.

However, it would remind Arlen that we're watching, & his toothless threats so far to do something about it--denying funding to the program--should be carried through.

Otherwise he can continue to posture & pretend that Americans just aren't concerned about the issue.

Patriots to Restore Checks & Balances (I'm always signing up for e-letters from these types of progessive organizations & forgetting I did so) sent out an e-mail today with Arlen's number & a handy list of "talking points."
"Despite conservative and progressive support for a full investigation into the warrantless domestic spying program of the National Security Agency (NSA), the Bush administration continues to refuse to disclose key facts and stonewall Congress, providing empty rhetoric and no real answers.

"Attorney General Alberto Gonzales testified before the House Judiciary Committee and alluded to President Bush's secret surveillance program having a wider scope than originally acknowledged, including the monitoring of purely domestic e-mails and phone conversations between Americans without any warrants. These comments demonstrate the urgent necessity of a full, bipartisan investigation of the unlawful program, to curb unfettered NSA fishing expeditions into the private communications of ordinary Americans.

"Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-PA) has introduced an amendment that would withhold some funding for the NSA if stonewalling continues. Senator Specter indicated that he does not intend to ask for a vote on the amendment but to open a public debate on the NSA spying program saying “where’s the outrage?” Senator Specter needs to hear from you that Americans are outraged that Congress has not investigated the NSA spying and you want checks and balances restored, to protect the legacy of liberty we inherited from our Founding Fathers.

"The Senate Should Support the No-Funding Amendment.

"Urge Senator Specter to insist on a vote on his amendment and use Congress’ power of the purse to get answers. As Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he has the responsibility and power to fairly investigate the program to spy on Americans without warrants and obtain all relevant facts, not just handpicked information supplied by the administration.

"Congress must be a check on every president in order to protect our fundamental freedoms. If Congress fails to take a stand, President Bush and future presidents will be able to hide information about spying on or other warrantless searches of Americans from Congress and the public. The rule of law means that no one, not even the president, is above the law. Our liberty and property rights require due process of law. This program puts unchecked power over these freedoms in one person, and no person no matter what party should have such unlimited power over Americans.

"More information on warrantless eavesdropping will be coming soon at:"


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