The vote in the Senate on FISA is scheduled for this week. Debate starts today, but the vote will probably be pushed until Wednesday due to Jesse Helms’ funeral.

Today, thanks to your contributions, we’re taking out a full page ad in the Washington Post (PDF) along with Color of Change calling out the the political establishment for their complicity in this shameful event:

In 2006, the New York Times won the Pulitzer Prize for exposing Bush’s illegal NSA spying program. That scandal will fade away this week with the Democratic-led Congress protecting the lawbreakers, covering-up what was done and retroactively legalizing many of the surveillance crimes that were committed.

In the U.S., punishment for lawbreaking is only for "the little people." This country has the largest prison population of any in the world, imprisoning over 2.3 million citizens. But when high-level members of the political establishment commit crimes — Richard Nixon, the Iran-Contra criminals, Lewis Libby, and the engineers of Bush’s illegal spying and torture programs — the Washington Establishment protects their elite and exempts them from the rule of law.

This week’s FISA "revisions" cement this two-tiered system of justice. The nation’s largest telecoms broke our spying laws for years, but Congress, awash in telecom money and influence, is about to give them retroactive lawbreaking license.

Why? Because although a crime is a crime when common Americans commit it, the Washington Establishment justifies crimes that are committed by their own as benign "policy disputes" — or crimes committed "for our own Good."

Your donations paid for this ad, which lets the DC establishment know that their votes and this issue aren’t going to pass quietly out of memory.

sbf-150x100h.jpgBut our efforts don’t stop when Congress acts to sweep their own mess under the rug. As part of our AccountabilityNow PAC, we’re putting together a program to hold the the worst offenders accountable for their votes — the Blue Dogs (and others) who are awash in telecom cash and proudly take responsibility for passing this disgraceful piece of legislation.

With their ability to join with either the Republicans or the Democrats to pass legislation, the big K Street beneficiaries (the so-called "centrists") now hold the power to determine what happens in the House and have put up the "for sale" sign in the window.

We need to start working to break that up now, or despite the best intentions of a new President, we’ll be looking at more of the same.

Glenn Greenwald:

To initiate and fund our new campaign, we have teamed with the individual who was behind the innovative and extraordinary successful Ron Paul "money bombs"Trevor Lyman, along with Rick Williams and Break the Matrix — to plan an "Accountability Money Bomb" for August 8. That is the day in 1974 when Richard Nixon was forced to resign from office for his lawbreaking and surveillance abuses. That day illustrates how far we have fallen in this country in less than 35 years, as we now not only permit rampant presidential lawbreaking and a limitless surveillance state, but have a bipartisan political class that endorses it and even retroactively protects the lawbreakers.

If you have a blog or a website, you can add your site to the list of Strange Bedfellows here, and we’ll be linking to it on the official Strange Bedfellows page. (You can also grab a variety of banners and graphics you can add to your site here.)

And you can pledge your August 8 Money Bomb donation here, which will be used to fund the effort to hold our elected officials — both Democrat and Republican — accountable to the oath they take to uphold the constitution.

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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