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FISA Call to Action
Dear Friend:The Senate will soon consider legislation addressing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I emailed you about this issue recently responding to inaccuracies in the press about Democratic efforts to improve protection of civil liberties. I am writing you today to update you on the current state of the bill and to ask for your help.
One critical question being considered in the Senate's FISA bill is whether to offer telecom companies retroactive immunity for any actions they undertook in the wireless surveillance program. The Bush Administration has claimed that this is necessary for national security reasons, but I am skeptical.
If the Administration was serious about arguing for this immunity, I suspect they would take steps to demonstrate to Congress the extent of this surveillance program and what role the phone companies played. Yet they have refused to share even this information with the House. Clearly, it is a bit much to ask for immunity from prosecution without explaining why it is necessary.
Because of these reservations, the House-passed FISA bill did not include the immunity the president sought. In the Senate, however, it is becoming clear that a tough battle will now ensue over this provision. Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut has been a vocal opponent of telecom immunity and has promised to filibuster any FISA legislation that includes this provision.
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Senator Dodd needs your help right now. Please visit his site and lend your support to the filibuster now. Your help can make a difference at this important juncture.
Thank you again for your continued support for a better democracy.