Thursday, April 27, 2006

Action Alert from the ACLU

Here in Vermont we're usually proud of our senior Senator, Pat Leahy. We're especially proud of his NO vote on the Iraq war resolution.

We need him again. Here's the text of a message I got today from the ACLU. If you're in Vermont, or in one of the other states mentioned in the post, please call your senator today to block this whitewash of illegal government spying.

In addition to calling him at the numbers they've listed, you can comment directly by using this link.

To Our Friends in Vermont,

This week the Senate Judiciary Committee is considering two bills that would reward President Bush’s illegal actions by allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to continue spying on Americans in violation of our laws. These bills are being pushed through even though Congress has failed to learn key facts about the program.

Senator Leahy sits on this committee and can stop both of these bills dead in their tracks.

We need you to call Senator Leahy right now.

In Burlington: (802) 863-2525
In Washington, DC: (202) 224-4242

* Tell him to oppose both Senate Bill 2453 and Senate Bill 2455. Congress needs to get the facts about the NSA spying program before making it legal.
* Both bills would have the effect of whitewashing the illegal NSA domestic spying program. Conservatives and progressives agree that this program should not be made legal.
* Congress has a duty to get the facts, not help the Bush administration cover them up. The Senate Judiciary Committee must uphold its responsibility to the Constitution and the American people by opposing these misguided bills.
* Tell Senator Leahy to get the facts about the warrantless NSA domestic spying before making it legal.

Calls are needed to several members of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Please take a moment and forward this email to your friends and family who live in Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, California, Ohio, Iowa, South Carolina, Kansas, Wisconsin, Delaware, Oklahoma and Illinois. They can look up their member’s phone number here.

S. 2453, a bill written by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA), would supposedly restore judicial review of wiretaps, but the law already requires judicial review and the president has ignored it. Senator Specter’s bill would allow the courts to approve programs of surveillance, diminishing the Constitution’s requirement there be probable cause that an American is doing something wrong before their communications can be seized.

S. 2455, a bill written by Senator Mike DeWine (R-PA), would also attempt to rewrite probable cause to allow warrantless surveillance of Americans’ calls and emails without evidence that they are conspiring with suspect terrorists. It would make judicial review of wiretaps optional and would reduce the amount of information the president is required to give Congress about the program.

Caroline Fredrickson
Director, ACLU Washington Legislative Office


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