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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-18-08 07:06 PM
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Strange Bedfellows Unite to Fight FISA Deal
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Edited on Wed Jun-18-08 07:13 PM by Truth2Tell
Hugely important press release today from the ACLU:

Strange Bedfellows Unite to Fight FISA Deal (6/18/2008)

Contact: (202) 675-2312, [email protected]

Washington, DC -- A sham spying deal could be rammed through both the Senate and House this week. It’s moving that fast. If we don’t stop this, telecom companies that broke the law by supplying mountains of personal information to the government without a warrant will be let off the hook.

A broad alliance of strange bedfellows is now forming to support a campaign to fight the gutting of FISA (The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) with the intent to work together on all civil liberties, constitutional rights and rule of law issues.

The ACLU is joining with activists from the Ron Paul campaign, represented by Break the Matrix, Rick Williams and Trevor Lymon, and civil liberties writer Glenn Greenwald of Salon, and leading liberal bloggers including, Jane Hamsher of firedoglake, Matt Stoller of Open Left, John Amato of Crooks and Liars, Howie Klein of Down with Tyranny, Digby, Josh Nelson of The Seminal and activist Josh Koster to tell Congress that we will not let them ignore the Constitution or give immunity to telecoms which deliberately broke our laws for years.

This group of Strange Bedfellows is mobilizing a broad-based left-right coalition of office holders and candidates, public interest groups and individuals who are devoted to preserving basic constitutional liberties to join in the fight. The goal is to work together to impede the corrupt FISA/telecom amnesty deal.

Whole release">here.

A broad-based left-right coalition... devoted to preserving basic constitutional liberties...


So the ACLU has teamed up with the Paul-ites and the liberal blogosphere to finally get in the faces of the appeasers. Oh, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation is on board as well.

Glen Greenwald at Salon lays out the two phase plan of the new coalition:

...our campaign will be unveiled in two phases, with Phase I to entail an immediate ad campaign aimed at three key Democratic enablers of this bill -- Hoyer, Chris Carney, and Blue Dog Rep. John Barrow of Georgia. The reasons for targeting Hoyer are self-evident and were set forth yesterday, and the campaign against Carney -- who has long been one of the Blue Dogs">spearheading the effort behind this bill -- is already underway and will continue.

Rep. John Barrow was, like Carney, one of the">21 Blue Dogs who signed the letter to Nancy Pelosi back in March demanding that they be allowed to vote on the Rockefeller/Cheney Senate bill. In July, Barrow faces a very credible primary challenger --">Georgia State House Rep. Regina Thomas -- who is much more in step with the district's Democratic base.


Phase II will involve a massive money bomb, to be planned by the same people who were">behind the money bombs that raised millions and millions of dollars for the Ron Paul presidential campaign. The dates and other details for that will be announced shortly.

The plan there is to raise an extraordinary amount of money -- dwarfing the $90,000 raised in the last 24 hours -- by going to all of the various constituents of each member of this coalition in order to fuel a real campaign in defense of civil liberties, constitutional protections and the rule of law. The money raised will be used to oppose and punish those vulnerable members of Congress who continue to support the evisceration of our constitutional framework and core civil liberties, while supporting candidates and office-holders who meaningfully oppose that assault.

Tons more">here.

...a real campaign in defense of civil liberties, constitutional protections and the rule of law.

This effort is long overdue IMHO. The numbnards in Washington need to be "trained", as Greenwald says, to understand that there is a real constituency for defending our constitution. Thus far, that constituency has been dormant and fragmented, and thus ignored.

I implore my fellow DUers to take part in this effort. Take a five minute breather from the "Fuck Tim Russert" threads and head over to ActBlue and contribute a few Dollars to">Blue America PAC vs Retroactive Immunity.

Even The New York Times caught the spirit on this one today:

In the waning months of his tenure, President Bush and his allies are once again trying to scare Congress into expanding the president’s powers to spy on Americans without a court order.

This week, the White House and Democratic and Republican leaders on Capitol Hill hope to announce a “compromise” on a domestic spying bill. If they do, it will be presented as an indispensable tool for protecting the nation’s security that still safeguards our civil liberties. The White House will paint opponents as weak-kneed liberals who do not understand and cannot stand up to the threat of terrorism.

The bill is not a compromise. The final details are being worked out, but all indications are that many of its provisions are both unnecessary and a threat to the Bill of Rights. The White House and the Congressional Republicans who support the bill have two real aims. They want to undermine the power of the courts to review the legality of domestic spying programs. And they want to give a legal shield to the telecommunications companies that broke the law by helping Mr. Bush carry out his warrantless wiretapping operation.


Lawsuits against those companies are the best hope of finding out the extent of Mr. Bush’s lawless spying. But Democratic leaders in Congress are reported to have agreed to a phony compromise drafted by Senator Christopher Bond, the Republican vice chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

Whole editorial">here.

Again, it's about friggin' time! And again, here's">where to give.

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