While tv and newspapers have been running repeats of the game show “who is the most marketable corporate presidential candidate?”, Congress is working on amending the FISA act to grant retroactive immunity to all telecommunications companies for helping the Bush administration conduct illegal electronic surveillance, without cause or warrant, of many millions of Americans. The immunity would include other potential illegal acts of which we are currently unaware, because relevant information is being kept secret. The bill would legalize government surveillance without cause and forbid court oversight.
The new bill granting immunity is supported by the Bush administration and Republicans, as well as most Democrats. The only representatives that I have seen speak out against this bill are Ted Kennedy; Russ Feingold; and Chris Dodd. Chris Dodd’s threat of a filibuster is the only reason we still have a chance to stop this unamerican act. Polls have shown that the public, regardless of political affiliation, are against the amendments in this bill.
To help stop this unconstitutional bill, and to preserve one of America’s most sacred rights, you can visit Dodd’s website for information on calling your representative. Also, Credo has a good website for sending an email.
The main purpose of the original FISA act in 1978 was to make it clear that wiretapping (electronic surveillance) without court approval is illegal and criminally punishable. Of course, it was already clear that wiretapping without a warrant was unconstitutional, but President Nixon felt differently so it had to be spelled out. Republicans and Democrats both overwhelmingly supported that original FISA act.
We have since found out that most of the major telecommunications companies have violated this law and the Constitution, by providing the Bush administration with access to domestic phone calls and internet communication of millions of Americans, without cause. The Founding Fathers built a strong foundation based on the people overseeing the government, and being protected from government oversight. The current government has turned that around completely. Now the government can see everything innocent Americans do, but they block the public from overseeing their actions.