February 16th, 2008

don't believe, press, poison

A letter to my state rep

Please please dear Lord please do not give any ground on the topic of telecom immunity!

I understand that there is a fair amount of pressure being applied by the White House to extend retroactive immunity to telecom companies for the breach of privacy rightsunder the Protect America Act, but it is imperative that you and your fellow members of the House do not allow that to happen. The failure of the Senate to act responsibly makes this much harder, I'm sure.

The Executive must know that its duty begins and ends with upholding the law of the land. Interpreting and selectively adhering to the law is not part of its charter. Allowing such abuse of power makes the role of the other branches of government irrelevant.

When the law is broken by anyone, even if it is at the urging of someone powerful, it is still breaking the law. This is especially troubling when the breaking of said law is at the urging of a body sworn to uphold and enforce the law to begin with.

One last thing I'd like to mention: it seems to me that the needs provided for by the Act are better served by the older FISA, which ensures some level of judicial oversight while still allowing for proper intelligence gathering. Don't let the rhetoric of an "unsafe America" deceive you into granting unneeded legal loopholes for the systematic violation of privacy rights.

Thank you for your time; keep fighting the good fight.