Date: June 19, 2008
FAX To: Senators Richard Lugar, Evan Bayh, and Representative Baron Hill
CC: Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid, Sen. Obama
Subj: Democratic Capitulation to Unconstitutional Retroactive Immunity to Telecoms
It is impossible to convey to you the disgust we feel at what Congress is preparing to do with the latest iteration of the FISA legislation, unnecessary legislation, since existing law more than covers the need for immediate surveillance with court monitoring and approval.
This “compromise” is nothing less than capitulation to the money bearing lobbyists of the telecom industry, and the lawless regime of George W. Bush, who apparently never met a law he did not consider worth ignoring, be it by a signing statement or simply executive fiat.
By passing this fatally flawed and unconstitutional bill with illegal retroactive immunity, however you may try to cloak it in language trying to pretend it is not a pig in a poke, you once again fail to uphold your oath of office to the Constitution and the rule of law.
Instead, you once again choose to pass flawed legislation that repudiates every principle of a government that operates by the rule of law, and adheres to the basic civil liberties and protections guaranteed in our Bill of Rights.
One would have hoped the recent Supreme Court ruling pointing out the idiocy of your attempt to carve habeas corpus out of the Constitution and English Common Law tradition underlying our justice system might have meant something to you.
One would have hoped the recent revelations of illegal torture, rendition, violation of treaties and laws at the behest of this administration would have meant something to you.
We can assure you that we will not support any of you who continue to vote and support the corrupt and lawless reign of George W. Bush and his administration, either with our donations to your campaigns, or our votes.
This goes double for the Democratic campaign committees for the House and Senate. It appeared the Democrats were prepared to coalesce around Obama, and support the principles of Constitutional law.
What’s particularly amazing about this whole process is that the House leadership unveiled this bill for the first time today — and then scheduled the vote on it for tomorrow. No hearings. Nothing. They all have less than 24 hours to “read” the bill and decide whether to eviscerate the rule of law and the Fourth Amendment. I recall Democrats long complaining that they were only given one day before being forced back in September, 2001 to vote on the Patriot Act, yet here they are — even without the excuse of the 9/11 attack — doing that to themselves. I’m sure their votes tomorrow will be the by-product of a very conscientious, thoughtful and diligent review of this lengthy bill — just as thoughtful as Pelosi’s review was before she whimsically pronounced that it’s all just six of one, half dozen of the other.