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Not remotely satisfied. - Peter Hentges

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August 29th, 2007

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11:33 am - Not remotely satisfied.
After writing to my Senator, Ms. Klobuchar, on her caving to the White House fear mongering regarding the extension of the warrantless wiretapping measure I received a response identical to my other friends that wrote her. Here is my response:
On Wednesday, August 29, 2007, at 10:27AM, 
"Senator Klobuchar" <senator_klobuchar@klobuchar.senate.gov> wrote:
>Dear Peter:
>      Thank you for contacting me concerning the Foreign Intelligence
>Surveillance Act.  I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.
>      You should first know that the FISA bill which passed both the House
>and Senate a few weeks ago is a temporary measure -- an interim fix
>extending for the next six months.

The "temporary" nature of this measure does not comfort me in the least, 
Senator. There was never a need for the White House to circumvent judicial 
oversight of their activities so giving that power to them, even on a 
temporary basis, simply validates their actions. You and I both know 
measures that find their way into law have a tendency to stay there, no 
matter the "temporary" classification they are given when initially introduced.

> ... I voted for the extension on a temporary basis
>only, because I couldn't allow there to be a gap in our intelligence
>gathering activity - our safety depends on our ability to continue tracking
>terrorist networks.

Our ability to track terrorist networks should not come at the loss of our 
civil liberties. I expect you, as my Senator, to protect my civil liberties 
rather than give in to the fear-mongering of the White House. The ineffective 
nature of the warrantless wiretaps provided for in this measure can be seen 
in the number of terrorist networks that it has brought down and the number 
of terrorist plots it has thwarted, which has been zero to date. Again, there 
was no need for the White House to circumvent the judicial oversight process 
in the first place.

>      Please know that I will actively work during this temporary six month
>extension to ensure any permanent FISA extension strikes the right balance
>between protecting our safety and protecting our civil rights.

I urge you in the strongest possible terms, which is to say I expect this 
action if you want to continue to represent me and other Minnesotans, to 
spend the next six months actively working to block any permanent extension 
of this measure. The ability to tap the private conversations of American 
citizens without even the very limited oversight that the courts provided 
before this measure is a power that the White House should not have, no 
matter what the nature of the administration that inhabits it. Our safety 
was not in question before this measure was put into place and our civil 
liberties are in danger now that it is in effect. If you want to strike the 
right balance, return to the courts the ability to oversee the intelligence 
gathering efforts of the executive branch by requiring warrants for any 
wiretapping so that there is some check upon that power.

Peter Hentges
ETA: Nice. The email address from which this message was delivered bounces my response with a "550 5.1.1 User unknown" error.

(6 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:August 29th, 2007 04:56 pm (UTC)
Well done. (I got the same response.)

Recently I wrote to Senators Klobuchar and Coleman about another matter. I had a answer from Coleman within a couple of hours. It was probably handled by a staffer and was a script, but it specifically addressed the issue I was writing about, so someone paid attention and responded incredibly quickly. I'm still waiting for a response from Klobuchar; I suspect it will take as long as the FISA one did.
[User Picture]
Date:August 30th, 2007 02:43 am (UTC)
I wrote to him about the pro-torture legislation of last year. I got a speedy auto-reply, then a longer scripted response that rambled, invoked idiotic reasoning and didn't come anywhere near to addressing my points. "He" then said
I will continue to follow this important issue. I appreciate hearing from you and hope you will not hesitate to contact me on any issue of concern to you.
"Please don't hesitate to write about any issue that concerns you; I will continue paying attention to it, but not to you, and I plan to continue doing whatever I want regardless."
Date:August 29th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
Well said.
[User Picture]
Date:August 29th, 2007 05:26 pm (UTC)
Good for you. Great response. I should go back to the form response and follow your example. I was very surprised to receive an excellent response by postal mail from Joseph Bruno, and he is from the State Senate of NY! Why am I getting better responses from people who have no reason to care what I think? Coleman has a great machine and the responses are swift but I disagree with almost everything he says. Scream.
[User Picture]
Date:August 30th, 2007 02:00 am (UTC)
why do you hate freedom.
Date:September 29th, 2007 05:31 pm (UTC)

Senator Klobuchar's email address

Yep - I got the same response. So I used her form - again - to send this:

Senator Klobuchar - you sent a response to my email address; in it the "from" address is " senator_klobuchar@klobuchar.senate.gov ". That email address, if used, generates a "user unknown" response.. this effectively disallows a response to you, to comment on YOUR response to my ORIGINAL letter. Smooth.

I sent you an email, via this form, stating that you were wrong to go along with the Republicans, condemning the MoveOn.org ad - you responded to me with this:
Thank you for contacting me about the recent advertisement concerning U.S. General David Petraeus. I appreciate hearing your thoughts.

While I strongly disagree with the direction the Administration is taking in Iraq, I have great respect for our men and women in uniform and the sacrifices they make in service to our country. Their service deserves to be respected and honored, regardless of our opinions on the war in Iraq. As such, I do not feel that this particular advertisement was appropriate.

I opposed this war from the beginning. I continue to believe it is time for a new direction in Iraq. We must begin bringing our troops home. That's why, just last week, I was one of 28 Senators who voted for the Feingold Amendment, which requires the president to begin withdrawing troops within 90 days, and effectively limits funding for deployments in Iraq by June 30, 2008. I also supported amendments offered by Senators Levin and Reed, requiring that a troop drawdown begin in 90 days; and the Webb Amendment, giving active duty troops time home equal to the length of their deployment. I will continue to advocate strenuously for an immediate change in course in Iraq.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to do so again on issues of concern to you.


Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator

So here is my response to that response:
Senator Klobuchar,

You insult my intelligence, and do disservice to "our men and women in uniform" as you state. There was nothing in the MoveOn.org ad that does disservice to the men in uniform; on the contrary, Gen. Petraeus dishonors our men by serving as a mouthpiece for Bush's illegal war.

So you tell me, what is "appropriate"? what serves as "respect" for our military?

How is it that you now find yourself in league, by your vote, with the same people who supported the slime against Max Cleland, putting up an ad with him together with Osama bin Laden? or sliming John Kerry, that he fabricated his war record, before the last election? Why do you go along with this? you are merely spouting politics, and from what I can see, purposely sidestepping the real issue with your sanctimonious "support" for amendments ad nauseum. If you had any spine, you'd be loudly and consistently calling for the impeachment of the Unitary Executive, and the Vice President, who have fradulently shredded the Constitution, and waged a war against the American public thru fear-mongering. Is this not true? or do you care about the Constitution that you swore to uphold?

It is amazing that you forget the recent past, and vote along with the hypocritical Republicans - I would prefer that you exercised a little backbone, and publicly called out that this is a DIVERSION from the real discussion about the lies coming from the White House. But no, instead, you support amendments, make public statements, maybe wring your hands a bit -- and all the while the White House is about to bomb Iran, over the feeble objections of the Congress. Shame on you, and your weak-kneed associates. We are one terrorist attack away -- whether 'real' or false flag -- from becoming a police state; you know this is true as well.

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