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Not Ready To Make Nice

Dixie Chicks, Not Ready To Make Nice

Well this gets a big, fat “hell, no” from me.  Via e-mail from Liz Rose of the ACLU on the draft Senate version of the FISA bill, which is not yet publicly available and not being widely shared for review either:

…the Senate bill (Committee draft) does contain immunity/amnesty for the telecom companies…Including retroactive immunity for anything they’ve done wrong in cooperating in illegal domestic spying for the past six years.

If they didn’t do anything wrong, why should they get retroactive immunity? And, worse, if it is likely that they broke laws, why on earth would the Senate just hand lawbreakers retroactive immunity before fact-finding on potential criminal conduct was even completed?!?  That makes no logical or ethical sense.

This might be the start of an answer:  just take a peek at the telco lobby firepower, would you, just for Verizon.  And then contemplate how many other companies have rosters as large or larger twisting arms on Capitol Hill.  And then ask yourself the following:  do you trust the word of the Bush Administration and these telecom companies that they were well within the bounds of the law in everything they did in secret and hid from public purview and continue to try and hide from scrutiny and oversight?  My answer:  HELL NO.

Please call your Senators today and say two things very clearly:  no retroactive immunity for telecom companies and no umbrella warrants.  Period.  Direct dial numbers for Senators can be found here.  Talking points from the ACLU website on the FISA bill are here (H/T to Phoenix Woman for the link). 

The members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, which is primarily responsible for this bill, are as follows:

*Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Chairman — (202) 224-6472
*Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — (202) 224-3841
*Sen. John Warner (R-VA) — (202) 224-2023
*Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) — (202) 224-5244
*Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) — (202) 224-4224
*Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) — (202) 224-5623
*Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) — (202) 224-4654
*Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) — (202) 224-5344
*Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) — (202) 224-5274

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) — (202) 224-3154
Sen. Kitt Bond (R-MO), Vice-Chairman — (202) 224-5721
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) — (202) 224-3521
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) — (202) 224-5251
Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) — (202) 224-5323
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) — (202) 224-2921

The bolded Senators are the ones that need concentrated calls — the ones which are not highlighted are already on the right track or, unfortunately, likely hopeless on this issue.  If Feingold or Whitehouse are your Senators, do take a little time to call and give them some thanks for standing up for the Constitution and the rule of law, but the bolded names need the most push in the next few days.  Might as well make the calls count as much as possible.  You can reach them toll free as well thanks to these numbers that katymine found:

1 (800) 828 – 0498
1 (800) 459 – 1887
1 (800) 614 – 2803
1 (866) 340 – 9281
1 (866) 338 – 1015
1 (877) 851 – 6437

PS – Also, please keep those calls and FAXes going on SCHIP as well.  The more contact they have from constituents who care about these issues, the more we let them know that we are not ready to back down.  Thanks everyone for all the effort today and every day!

UPDATEGlenn has more here.  (H/T to susan for linking this in the comments.) Also, put some pressure on the Democratic Presidential candidates.  If anyone sees a public statement by any of them on the FISA bill or any of these issues, please link it up in the comments.  Thanks!

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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