"The action I am taking is no more than a radical measure to hasten the explosion of truth and justice. I have but one passion: to enlighten those who have been kept in the dark, in the name of humanity which has suffered so much and is entitled to happiness. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. Let them dare, then, to bring me before a court of law and let the enquiry take place in broad daylight!" - Emile Zola, J'accuse! (1898) -

Monday, July 7, 2008

Action Alert Reminder: FISA VOTE: Act Now On FISA in the Senate : All Action Links Provided Below!

The Senate This Week…..

Before Congress left for the Independence Day recess, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 6304, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a bill that seriously threatens the civil liberties of all Americans. The Senate is poised to act on this same bill when it returns from recess on July 8.

Full Text etc. at Thomas (LOC)

H.R.6304 FISA Amendments Act of 2008 (Placed on Calendar in Senate)

We need you to encourage your Senators to start protecting civil liberties by opposing legislation that would authorize warrantless wiretapping of American citizens without judicial protections and would grant immunity to telecommunications companies for illegal eavesdropping!


Contact Your Senator

Contact Barack Obama (Let him know the Netroots, the Grassroots cannot be taken for granted. We expect change. We expect him to demonstrate courage. )

Senate : FISA …..

Senate Legislation Opening Page

Scroll Down To (F)


FISA Act (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), extend for 30 days S.2664

FISA Act (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), extend through February 16, 2008 (P.L.110-55 extended act through February 1, 2008.) H.R.5104P.L.110-182

FISA Act (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act), extend through July 1, 2009 S.2557, S.2665

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.

We also launched a tool last week to help you track activity and elected official public appearances in your area.

The hope is that it has helped and will continue to help you organize action in your neighborhood and to connect with other folks who want to do the same. If you were active over the weekend -- with signs, meetings, and what not -- and have pictures or video to share, please send them along. We'd love to see and share some action from all of you!

A few months back, SF Gate cartoonist Mark Fiore introduced his character Snuggly, the Security Bear, with a brilliant take on telecom immunity. Now, Snuggly is back, and he has a few words to say about "compromise." http://www.markfiore.com/spies_who_love_you_0

Sen. Russ Feingold has a fact sheet about the current FISA bill that contains useful information on the various problems with the bill.

ACLU Tool Link

Additional Readings:







NSA Spying


Obama: I'll Fight To Strip Telecom Immunity From FISA

Posted by David S Morgan

(CBS/AP) - Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., issued a statement in support of the House's update of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, but said he would try to strip a provision granting immunity to telecommunication companies when the bill comes to a vote in the Senate next week.

The House approved a compromise bill Friday that would set new electronic surveillance rules that would also shield telecoms from lawsuits arising from their participation in the government's warrantless eavesdropping on telephone and computer lines in the United States.

The government eavesdropped on American phone and computer lines for almost six years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks without permission from the FISA Court, the special panel established for that purpose under the original 1978 law.

Some 40 lawsuits have been filed against the telecommunications companies by groups and individuals who say the Bush administration illegally monitored their phone calls or e-mails.

Obama said there is "little doubt" that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, "has abused [its] authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders."

"Given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as president, I will carefully monitor the program.

"[The bill] does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses."

The House approved the legislation 293-129.

The White House had threatened to veto any surveillance bill that did not also shield the companies.

Critics say granting immunity to telecoms would scrap the pending lawsuits and prevent any public airing of details about the government's surveillance activities.

Last February, when an earlier version of the FISA bill came to a vote, Obama voted for an amendment to strip the telecom immunity provision from the bill. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) voted in favor of keeping immunity for the telecoms.

Speaking in an interview to be aired on Bloomberg television this weekend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said that he may schedule a separate vote on stripping immunity from the bill, although he expressed pessimism about its success.

"Probably we can't take that out of the bill, but I'm going to try," Reid told "Political Capital with Al Hunt."

Please use the call tool created by our friends at Firedoglake and ask your Senators to vote "YES" on the Dodd-Feingold Amendment to strip retroactive immunity from FISA


We had a lot of great allies that first time around, and together we were able to stop a bad bill: bloggers, Electronic Frontier Foundation, DFA, MoveOn, the ACLU and more ...

Once again, we're going to need every last hand on deck today and tomorrow if we're going to stop this bill one more time.

Please make your voice heard by calling your Senator's office, right now.

-Chris Dodd-

Take Back America’ Reclaim it before it is too late!