This letter was faxed to Senators Bayh and Lugar, with a copy to Sen. Reid with this paragraph added as a preface.
I would add to this copy for Sen. Reid this question: Why do the Republicans get to demand that some votes on amendments by Democrats require 60 votes WITHOUT having to filibuster. Whose side are you on, anyway? And how is that an equal application of the Senate rules? We are ashamed of your leadership when we see this sort of disgusting bending of the rules to kowtow to a criminal President and his lackeys, the Republicans in Congress. If the Republicans want to be obstructionists, make them have the courage to admit that is what they are doing and filibuster.
Once more, since too many members of Congress seemed to have forgotten this:
You took an oath which swore to uphold the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
The Bush administration and the Republican Party have fostered massive violations of the law and American civil liberties by spying EVEN BEFORE 9/11. It is now clear they have put technology in place to eavesdrop on ALL INTERNET TRAFFIC and phone traffic, on American citizens, at home, domestically, not just foreign nationals. They have demonstrated their total disregard for the law at every step.
The Republicans current demand for retroactive immunity for the telecoms is nothing more or less than an effort to shield the Bush administration from discovery that will make members of this administration liable for law breaking. This includes Bush and Cheney.
Worse yet, they are now demanding not only immunity for the telecoms that obeyed their illegal demands for warrantless surveillance, they are demanding even deeper and more abusive warrantless intrusions on the privacy of American citizens in the unconstitutional FISA extensions and amendments they are proposing. They are turning this nation into a full-blown police state with full-time secret surveillance.
And you continue to enable them with every vote that allows this to continue.
History is going to record how every member of Congress who lacked the courage to uphold their oath of office and defend our civil liberties and the rule of law are responsible for the slide towards tyranny and a police state, a condition we now face under the current Bush and Cheney regime.
On the FISA legislation and all related amendments pending in the Senate, your ONLY position as a member of Congress is as follows:
(1) NO telco immunity
(2) NO basket warrants or reverse targeting — this violates the 4th amendment
(3) Sequestration of illegally harvested evidence
(4) Four year sunset.
The Bush administration is resorting now to their tired old tricks, frantically claiming the terrorists are going to get us if we do not continue these massive violations of the law. How can you continue to roll over and play dead when these liars say BOO for the 1,000th time!
Any member of Congress who still falls for their lies and blatant, dishonest scare tactics should resign in shame, as they are not worthy of representing American citizens.
We are including commentary on this issue below. We agree with this commentary.
Let’s make it as simple as possible.
• The telcos are not patriotic heroes. They broke the law. And when they stopped being paid for it, they stopped being “patriotic.” They don’t deserve protection.
• If domestic spying was really so critical to the nation’s security, the government would have kept paying for it.
• The administration is hellbent on protecting the evidence of their illegal spying on American citizens by not allowing lawsuits against the telcos that helped them.
• The administration is still hellbent on spying on American citizens with or without cause.
Update Feb. 7th. Sen. Bayh demonstrates his contempt for the Bill of Rights
Sen. Feingold offered an amendment on Use Limits, S 3915. This amendment would have given the FISA Court discretion to impose restrictions on the use of information about Americans that is acquired through procedures later determined to be illegal by the FISA court.
The amendment failed: 56-39
Four Democrats voted to allow the government of the United States to use illegally obtained information against American citizens: Rockefeller, Johnson, Lincoln, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, and Landrieu.
Sen. Bayh appears to no longer believe in the fourth amendment, or any of that other silly stuff, the rest of the Bill of Rights, the Constitution. Who needs it when you have a Reich Ministry of Homeland Security and an emerging secret police, instead of courts, laws, warrants, all the things Western Democratic traditions have been built on since the Magna Carta, culminating in the American Revolution.
Sen. Bayh is a disgrace to the state of Indiana.