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" <email@example.com> wrote:
> 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
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 HentgesETA: Nice. The email address from which this message was delivered bounces my response with a "550 5.1.1 User unknown" error.