To get what you want, you must first ask for it.
You might NOT get EVERYTHING you want, but you're more likely to make progress.
If you want the Patriot Act to be repealed, you must tell Congress. Otherwise, it will never be repealed, nor will it even be reformed.
Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate's Judiciary Committee, is offering a bill that renews some of the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. It includes civil liberties protections, but also extends the Patriot Act for TWO MORE YEARS.
The bill, S.193, WOULD BE AN IMPROVEMENT. But it's NOT what we want. If we call for outright repeal of the Patriot Act . . .
* Congress may be awakened to its abuses and start investigations
* Even if we don't get an outright repeal, more members might start calling for reform and endorse measures like S.193
On the other hand, if we ask for something like S.193 as our starting point . . .
* We'll have no chance of repealing the Patriot Act, which is what we want (as illustrated in the letter below)
* Even a compromise like S.193 will end up being more watered-down than it would have been if we had asked for repeal directly.
That's why we, at DownsizeDC.org, are calling for REPEAL of the Patriot Act, even while others are calling for mere reform.
If you agree with our analysis, then please ask Congress for what you want.
You may borrow from or copy this letter, or write one of your own . . .
The "Patriot" Act represents a dark moment of fear-imposed unfaithfulness to the Bill of Rights -- a retreat from what we know, in our hearts, is proper and just.
That which is un-Constitutional cannot be "fixed" or "reformed." It must be repealed by morally courageous congresspersons. I'm hoping that's you.
But the Patriot Act cannot be "fixed" or "reformed" for another reason. It is pernicious. It has created ample opportunities for the FBI to abuse its powers.
As the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has uncovered, the FBI has been intoxicated with lawlessness as a result of this terrible law. The FBI's crimes include . . .
* submitting false or inaccurate declarations to courts
* using improper evidence to obtain federal grand jury subpoenas
* accessing password protected documents without a warrant
* and much more: https://www.eff.org/pages/patterns-misconduct-fbi-intelligence-violations
The EFF reports that "in an audit of only 10% of national security investigations . . . the FBI may have committed as many as 3,000 NSL (national security letter) violations and had failed to report many of those violations to the IOB (Intelligence Oversight Board)."
The EFF estimates that the FBI has broken the law 40,000 times since 2001.
40,000 times! Do incentives matter? This law seems to be an inducement to illegal behavior, doesn't it? But it gets worse, because . . .
I, and my fellow Americans have nowhere to turn to protect ourselves.
* President Obama hasn't instituted meaningful reforms, and
* YOU, Congress, hasn't held the rogue FBI accountable.
Lawlessness in the federal government is by far a bigger threat to America -- to Americans -- than terrorism is. REPEAL THE PATRIOT ACT! Don't renew it.
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Thanks for your help in Downsizing DC!