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Quote of the Day:
"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy. Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. The loss of liberty at home is to be charged to the provisions against danger, real or imagined, from abroad."
-- James Madison
Subject: Congress to vote on important bill
Congress may take action this week to change the so-called "Protect America Act" which permits warrantless Federal spying on American citizens.
We are joining a number of organizations to write and call Congress this week requesting that they repeal this law, and/or change it in specific ways, as follows . . .
* Congress must not allow warrantless surveillance of ordinary Americans
* Congress must not grant immunity to telecom companies that have illegally complied with such surveillance
With regard to the first point, we agree with Mike German, a former undercover counter-terrorism agent for the FBI. German puts the point succinctly: "The Bill of Rights is the perfect counter-terrorism strategy."
German argues that requiring warrants for surveillance forces the government to FOCUS, and not waste time chasing phantoms. We make this point constantly -- government could accomplish more by doing less. Subtraction is addition when it comes to government. Downsize DC!
With regard to the second point, granting immunity to the telecoms sends a message that others in the future can conspire with the government to break the law with no fear of consequences. It makes further abuses nearly certain.
Please send a message to Congress asking them to repeal the so-called "Protect America Act."
In your personal comments, specifically mention that warrants must be required for the surveillance of ordinary Americans, as required by the Constitution, and that you want no immunity for telecom companies that conspired with the government to violate the Constitution.
Follow-up with phone calls that make the same points -- you will see the phone numbers you need when you log-in to our system.
Many other people from other organizations are also calling, so you will not be alone. If one or more of your representatives are Republicans, please also ask them to support a resolution instructing President Bush to NOT
On the Iranian front, we must continue the drumbeat . . .
We must do with Iran what we are doing with North Korea. Negotiations with North Korea are working, because they cover the entire range of issues between our two countries. Negotiations with Iran are failing because the Bush administration refuses to address the full range of issues involved.
We cannot reach a settlement with Iran without addressing Iran's security concerns. If we want them to care about our security concerns then we must care about theirs too.
* Iran has never overthrown the U.S. government, but we did overthrow the Iranian government in 1953.
* Iran has never sponsored anyone to attack our territory, but we did sponsor Iraq to attack Iran
* Iran has never changed the governments of our neighbors, but we have changed the governments of their neighbors
Iran wants a nuclear bomb to prevent us from doing again what we did to them in 1953, when we overthrew their government. Iran wants a nuclear bomb because it does not want to be the next Iraq. We cannot prevent Iran's development of nuclear weapons without addressing their security concerns.
We are doing that with North Korea, and we can do it with Iran too.
If we negotiated with the Soviet Union and China we can negotiate with Iran. If we can have peaceful relations with Saudi Arabia, the state-sponsoring source of the ideology driving Islamic terrorism, then we can have peaceful relations with Iran too.
Many people are saying that we cannot achieve a settlement if we take the option of using force off the table. But the exact opposite is true. We cannot achieve a settlement as long as Iran feels threatened.
Please send Congress a message requesting a resolution prohibiting an attack on Iran. You can make the above points in your personal comments.
If you are represented by a Republican, please follow your message with a phone call.
Please, also, call Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid and ask them to bring a "do not attack Iran" resolution to a vote. Their numbers are . . .
Rep. Nancy Pelosi — 202-225-4965
Sen. Harry Reid — 202-224-3542
It is up to us to provide the leadership Congress is too afraid to provide. We must lead them by encouraging them, and taking away their fear of appearing soft. So much of what the politicians do is simply pandering to what they think the American people fear. We must convince them we are not afraid, and will not be pandered to.
Use your power!
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Thank you for being a DC Downsizer.