Jame Risen of The New York Times
Under pressure from President Bush, Democratic leaders in Congress are scrambling to pass legislation this week to expand the government’s electronic wiretapping powers.
Democratic leaders have expressed a new willingness to work with the White House to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to make it easier for the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on some purely foreign telephone calls and e-mail. Such a step now requires court approval.
It would be the first change in the law since the Bush administration’s program of wiretapping without warrants became public in December 2005.
This is an outrage. Bush has provided no evidence that his illegal domestic spying scheme has made Americans safer against terrorism, and congressional Democrats appear likely to cave in to his demands. Worse yet, I have not been able to find any details of this legislation. Congress should not rush to pass any legislation amending FISA without allowing citizens to review and comment on it. Please call or e-mail your members of Congress today and tell them not to rush to enact any legislation that would amend FISA.
provides talking points and an action alert that makes it easy to find your members' contact information. If you are a liekly Democratic primary voter, please contact Senators Hillary Clinton
, Barack Obama
, Chris Dodd
, and Joseph Biden
. These for senators are running for president. Let them know that if they want your presidential vote next year, they will not vote to amend FISA before the August recess.