Don’t Follow Bush/Cheney Playbook on Domestic Spying, ACLU Statement on House FISA Vote

March 13, 2008 12:00 am

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Washington, DC – A vote on the Democratic House leadership’s proposal to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is scheduled for this afternoon. Below is a statement that can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the Washington Legislative Office of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) on that vote:

“The Democratic leadership of the House is bravely standing up to President Bush’s relentless and false fear-mongering. Good for them for not following his flawed playbook. In the past few days numerous additional revelations have highlighted the sad reality that Congress does not have all the facts because the White House purposely keeps it in the dark.

“Thursday, another whistleblower came forward with information that showed that Verizon was complicit in the illegal wiretapping scheme. There are press reports that confirm the re-birth of the Total Information Awareness program. And, of course, there are new revelations of abuses of executive power in today’s report from the Department of Justice’s Inspector General documenting even more violations of the Patriot Act’s National Security Letter provisions. The question for Members of Congress is what will they find out tomorrow?

“The House should refuse to immunize lawbreaking without knowing all the facts.

“The House bill, by providing a procedure for courts to consider classified evidence in secure setting, addresses the telecommunications and Internet companies’ major complaint that the government would gag them in court.

“While the ACLU has some reservations about the House bill, it is clearly better than the Senate’s version, which would essentially legalize warrantless wiretapping.”

Here is the letter to the House of Representatives on the Bill scheduled for a vote today:

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