August 6, 2008
We got a big response on the REAL ID campaign -- it points the way to the future
By Jim Babka
Quote of the Day:

"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
-- attributed to Edmund Burke

Subject: We got a big response on the REAL ID campaign -- it points the way to the future

Our message yesterday about the exchange between Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff and Governor Schweitzer of Montana got a big response. So many DC Downsizers tried to take action all at once that it overwhelmed our website. Some people had trouble sending messages as a result. We've fixed part of the problem, and our capacity is about to get better as we install our new servers.

This is a good problem to have. Thank you to everyone who took action yesterday.

The fight against the REAL ID Act points the way to the future. It used to be that the American people just rolled over and submitted every time Congress passed a bad law. No more. Now the American people are fighting back.

We must do the same thing with regard to the vote on the FISA warrantless spying bill that we lost recently. Congress may think the issue is settled, but we must make sure that it is not settled.

We are in negotiations with our coalition allies about the best strategy for overturning the warrantless spying law. Many of our allies are already taking action on the legal front, preparing to mount lawsuits. But there will be a grassroots strategy too.

We're pushing the idea that we ought to pursue a broad-based legislative attack on all aspects of the Bush-era assault on the Constitution. We have a perfect vehicle to use for this approach, Congressman Ron Paul's "American Freedom Agenda Act." This bill was created by a number of progressive and conservative organizations and introduced by Ron Paul. This bill would . . .

* Repeal the “Military Commissions Act of 2006” and thereby restore the ancient right of habeas corpus and end legally sanctioned torture by U.S. government agents
* Restore the ”Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act” (FISA) and thereby outlaw warrantless spying on American citizens by the President of the United States
* Give Congress standing in court to challenge the President's use of "signing statements" as a means to avoid executing the nation's laws
* Make it illegal for government agents to kidnap people and send them abroad to be tortured by foreign governments
* Provide legal protection to journalists who expose wrong-doing by the Federal government
* Prohibit the use of secret evidence to label groups or individuals as terrorists for the purpose of criminal or civil sanctions

We're contemplating a number of new tactics to push this bill forward. These tactics would serve to put Congress on the spot, much as Governor Schweitzer put Secretary Chertoff on the spot. But the first step is to start a steady drumbeat of messages hammering members of Congress to become co-sponsors of the "American Freedom Agenda Act."

Please start that drumbeat today, by sending your elected representatives a message. You can do that here.

Please also consider making a contribution to further our work. You can do that here.

Thank you for being a part of our growing Downsize DC army.

Jim Babka
President, Inc.
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