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FISA: It’s A Sunday FAX-a-thon For The Rule Of Law

We have a window to demand accountability and adherence to the rule of law. Again. Your constitution and the rule of law need your voice — and your FAXes. Today. Let’s welcome the Senate back from the weekend with a pile of FAXes saying, unequivocally, that we expect a NO vote on cloture.

In the spirit of our Correspondence School, keep your missives to Senators short, sweet and on point. I’ve put together a few talking points, but do take the time to put things in your own words, as mass-produced FAXes have less impact than individual ones. (H/T to emptywheel for inspiration and wording on these talking points.) If you have more to add on this, please do so in the comments:

— Retroactive immunity on FISA is designed to immunize the Bush/Cheney Administration. Once immunity is given, it cannot be taken back.

— Cloture and a vote for the Intelligence Committee bill would prevent any real oversight over minimization–the process by which the the Administration ensures that it does not collect or keep information on Americans incidentally.

— The Republicans’ obstruction and refusal to consider germaine amendments risks leaving us with limited surveillance when the Protect America Act expires in February

— The amendments will improve on the SSCI bill, produce a bill that the House will pass, and still ensure the Administration gets what it says it needs: no limitations on wiretapping of foreigners in other countries. We must protect the rule of law and civil liberties while also protecting national security. Otherwise, we are giving up what The Founders fought so hard to establish.

Let’s hit the phones and FAXes. Numbers for Senators are here. Also, ProjectVoteSmart has a great compilation of information that you can search by zipcode. Credo has a fantastic tool for contacting your representatives. EFF has a great tool as well.

You can send FAXes for free through a number of internet spots, including FreeFax, eFAX, faxzero, and any number of other places if you don’t have a FAX of your own. (Do read the fine print on all of these before using them.)

Toll-free numbers for Congress from Katymine:

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

Several Senators could use extra contact on this — uncommitted Democrats, members of the Gang of 14, and a number of wavering Republicans. Tell them to vote "no" on cloture. It is well past time that respect for the rule of law and the role of Congress in the balance of powers was restored:



Bayh (202) 224-5623 (202) 228-1377
Carper (202) 224-2441 (202) 228-2190
Obama (202) 224-2854 (202) 228-4260
Inouye (202) 224-3934 (202) 224-6747
Johnson (202) 224-5842 (202) 228 5765
Landrieu (202)224-5824 (202) 224-9735
McCaskill (202) 224-6154 (202) 228-6326
Mikulski (202) 224-4654 (202) 224-8858
Nelson (FL) (202) 224-5274 (202) 228-2183
Clinton (202) 224-4451 (202) 228-0282
Nelson (NE) (202) 224-6551 (202) 228-0012
Pryor (202) 224-2353 (202) 228-0908
Salazar (202) 224-5852 (202) 228-5036
Specter (202) 224-4254 (202) 228-1229
McCain (202) 224-2235 (202) 228-2862
Graham (202) 224-5972 (202) 224-3808
Warner (202) 224-2023 (202) 224-6295
Snowe (202) 224-5344 (202) 224-1946
Collins (202) 224-2523 (202) 224-2693
Sununu (202) 224-2841 (202) 228-4131
Lieberman (202) 224-4041 (202) 224-9750
Byrd (202) 224-3954 (202) 228-0002
Lincoln (202)224-4843 (202)228-1371
Chambliss (202) 224-3521 (202) 224-0103
Coleman (202) 224-5641 (202) 224-1152
Dole (202) 224-6342 (202) 224-1100
Smith (202) 224-3753 (202) 228-3997
Stabenow (202) 224-4822 (202) 228-0325
Kohl (202) 224-5653 (202) 224-9787

And, for extra bonus points, here is contact information for all three Democratic presidential candidates, courtesy of ProjectVoteSmart:

Sen. Hillary Clinton:

NY Office: Phone: 212-213-3717 Fax: 212-213-3041

VA office: Phone: 703-469-2008 Fax: 703-962-8600

Former Sen. John Edwards:

Phone: 919-636-3131 Fax: 919-967-3644

Sen. Barack Obama:

Phone: 312-819-2008 Toll Free: (866) 675-2008 FAX: 312-819-2088

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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