Demanding Congress To Reverse Their Capitulation
Posted by nytexan on August 8, 2007
I received the email below from MoveOn.org and thought you would like to sign the petition.
The Democratic-controlled Congress did the unthinkable on Saturday night: They gave President Bush and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales more unchecked power to wiretap Americans without a warrant.1 Yes, that’s the same Attorney General who is currently mired in scandal and probably committed perjury on this very issue.2
Why’d they do it? Because the president used fear to intimidate them and it worked.3
Enough is enough. We have to send a strong message to Congress that there is not rade-off between fundamental liberties and security. Preserving our Constitution is essential to our security—we can’t lead on freedom around the world when we’re actively undermining the rule of law at home.
We’ll make sure to deliver your comments to your representative and senators within the week.
The President used fear of another terrorist attack to bully Congress into giving him more unchecked power and they gave in to his scare tactics. While most Democrats voted against these expanded powers, Democratic leaders in Congress didn’t put up much of a fight and they didn’t stand up and say ‘no’ to Bush. We’ve seen this play out before—most notably when almost every member of Congress voted for the Patriot Act—many without even reading it.4
They do this because they’re afraid of being seen as weak on security—and because they buy the conventional wisdom that voters don’t really care about constitutional freedoms. If enough of us sign, we can make it plain just how broad support for preserving the Constitution is.
The only good news here is that these new unchecked powers that Congress gave the Bush administration aren’t permanent. They’ll expire in six month sand we have to make sure that Congress doesn’t renew them then.
Here’s how the Washington Post’s editorial board described what happened:5
“The Democratic-led Congress, more concerned with protecting its political backside than with safeguarding the privacy of American citizens, left town early yesterday after caving in to administration demands that it allow warrantless surveillance of the phone calls and e-mails of American citizens, with scant judicial supervision and no reporting to Congress about how many communications are being intercepted. To call this legislation ill-considered is to give it too much credit: It was scarcely considered at all. Instead, it was strong-armed through both chambers by an administration that seized the opportunity to write its warrantless wiretapping program into law—or, more precisely, to write it out from under any real legal restrictions.”
To keep focus on this, we’re helping start a new long-term effort called the AmericanFreedom Campaign to keep the pressure on Congress and make sure they fix this mess instead of making these powers permanent. We hope you can help over the coming months.
It’s Congress’s job to act as a check on the president’s authority—not as a rubber-stamp. They have to know that we’re watching them and we’re demanding real accountability for this overreaching president.
Click here to add your name to the petition:
President Bush still hasn’t responded to Congress’ subpoenas demanding the legal rationale for his warrantless wiretapping. If they don’t rein him in now, it is unlikely that he—or any president that comes after him—will ever comply with this kind of necessary oversight.
Thanks for all you do,
–Nita, Wes, Justin, Carrie and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Tuesday, August 7th, 2007
1.”House Approves Wiretap Measure,” Washington Post, August 5, 2007
2. Senator May Seek Gonzales Perjury Probe, Washington Post, July 26, 2007
3. The Fear of Fear Itself—NYTimes Editorial, New York Times, August 7,2007
4. Rep. Jim McDermott, Congressional Record: July 8, 2004,
5. Warrantless Surrender,Washington Post, August 7, 2007