Victory at Sunset - Protect America Act is no more

Downsize DC sent out a notice earlier this week that I failed to blog on:

68 Senators violated their oaths of office

This is their oath:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter."
And they violated this oath (blatantly) by
They voted to pass S. 2248, a new law designed to replace the so-called "Protect America Act." This bill violates the Bill of Rights . . .

* It permits the President to spy on Americans without a warrant.
* It grants retroactive immunity to tele-communications companies that collaborated with the Bush administration in previous warrantless spying, thereby creating an incentive for other companies to engage in similar crimes in the future (only Qwest Communications insisted on warrants).

Will this new, un-constitutional power, prevent future terrorist attacks? Of course not, nothing can do that, just as there is no law or power that could completely stop murders by domestic criminals.

read more | digg story

Kay Bailey Hutchison essentially bragged that this was what she was going to do in canned responses to my requests that PAA be allowed to sunset. Citing unnamed threats to national security she (like most conservatives) was all to willing to give up our freedom for the appearance of greater security.

At least she answered letters sent to her office. John Cornyn has never responded to a single request that I have sent him.

If only Texas allowed for a method to recall Senators from Washington, I'd be agitating for that right now. As it is I think it would be a crime to send either of them back to Washington. It was the job of the government to protect us from 9-11 in the first place, not remove our freedom as a consequence of their failure.



All is not dark on the subject of illegal spying on us by our government, with the duplicitous assistance of our telecommunications companies. Perhaps the House understands the Constitution, or at least the will of the people:
Speaker Pelosi announced the sunset of PAA. She pointed out that the government still retains all the powers it needs to spy on suspected terrorists under the old FISA law, which remains in place. She also talked about the need for the government, and the telecommunications companies, to operate under the rule of law.
read more | digg story

Goodbye Protect America Act; which is the next best thing to not passing it in the first place.

Some serious house cleaning is in order at the federal level. The problem is that the house cleaning needs to go deeper than those individuals who can be removed by the people through election. Don't ask me how we achieve this goal; I only wish there was a tool suitable to the job at hand. I've often thought that anyone who draws a salary paid directly with taxes should be able to be fired directly by tax-payers. That would be a suitable tool. Don't hold your breath on it's being crafted any time soon.

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