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FISA: Stand And Deliver

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Tomorrow is the vote on the FISA bill.  

This morning as I sat here watching the US Senate laud the Founding Fathers and the Declaration of Independence and the founding documents and principles of the American government, I could not reconcile it with the impending votes on the FISA amendments. 

These Senators began debate on the FISA amendment bill at 11:30 am ET.  And the contrast between the reverential language for the Declaration of Independence and the disrespect for the Fourth Amendment and the rule of law contained in the FISA bill is far too much cognitive dissonance this morning.

Thank goodness for Sen. Russ Feingold this morning or I may have abandoned all hope.

Last week, Blue America launched a call tool to help you get in touch with Senators regarding the FISA bill.  We’d like you to put it to some serious use today. We are asking Senators to vote IN FAVOR of the Dodd-Feingold-Leahy Amendment (S.A. 5064 to H.R. 6304).  We’re asking for a NO vote on cloture, and a NO vote on the final bill as well.

Every one of these Senators has had an opportunity to read both the FISA law, the proposed FISA bill and amendments thereto, and the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  There is no excuse for any Senator not to have done so…since December of 2005.  That so many of them seem to have little understanding or faulty information about the bill and it’s long-term legal and policy implications is bad enough.  That they are intent on voting on this bill knowing that their understanding is faulty is shameful.

The job of Congress is not to provide the president with absolution for the deliberate and direct violation of written law — it is to uphold their oath to protect the constitution and the rule of law.

So, let’s not make these votes easy for anyone, shall we?  Stand up for liberty.  Call your Senators.  You can use our tool to make calls or find direct dial and FAX information for every Senator linked here

Because patriotism isn’t just the words you spew in front of the camera for a celebration of the Declaration of Independence.  It’s what you do, each and every vote, each and every day, to actually uphold the principles contained therein. 

Now, let’s get to work…

UPDATE: Ars Technica has a great bit of analysis on the entire bill as well that deserves serious thought.  Don’t miss Marcy’s analysis of the Mike and Mike bait and switch, either.  And Raw Story just got the footage up of Feingold’s floor speech on FISA from this morning. Thought folks who missed it might want a peek…

PS — Glenn and I will be on Mike Malloy’s Show this evening talking FISA.  Sam Seder is guest hosting — we should be on around 9:30 pm ET.   

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com

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