Monday, May 5, 2008

Time to Act on FISA Again

Back in February, the House stood up to President Bush’s fear-mongering tactics by letting the so-called “Protect America Act” expire. This ill-named bill eviscerated the protections of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and violated the constitutional rights of Americans.

This breakthrough victory for civil liberties came only because a flood of citizen protests. Because of your emails and phone calls, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer rallied defenders of freedom to hold their ground.

But now, word has come from the ACLU that House leadership may be working hand-in-hand with Senator Jay Rockefeller, the Democratic Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has spearheaded efforts to give immunity to law-breaking phone companies that provided mountains of customer data to the government without warrants.
As discussions continue, it’s critical that House leadership avoid buckling to pressure from the White House or Senator Rockefeller at all costs. House leadership -- and every representative -- need to draw a line in the sand by rejecting any compromise that would undo the achievement we fought so hard for in February.

Make no mistake: any "compromise" that is acceptable to Senator Rockefeller and the President will undoubtedly let lawbreakers off the hook and seriously put at risk -- or even end -- lawsuits that may be the only way to get to the bottom of crimes that were committed by phone companies and Bush administration officials.
It is time to act again to demand that the House stand firm on FISA. Click
here to see a draft letter you can send. I’ve just sent mine.

Many citizens have worked hard to protect freedom in the long-running FISA debate. Now, we need to make sure all that work isn’t undone by backroom deals. Let’s make sure Congress knows how proud we are that the House has stood its ground and how outraged we will be if our representatives and House leadership reverse themselves now.

Act now!

- Milo

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