I am wondering if Senator Bond’s letter to the editor in today’s Post-Dispatch, which attempts to justify preserving the laughably named Protect America Act, has anything to do with the volume of calls and letters he is getting about FISA? I immediately fired off a necessarily brief response in the form of a letter to the editor which may or may not be printed. I hope those of you who read the letter and have the same negative response will do the same. I plan to write to Bond himself later today.
Bond pretends that the legislation does not target Americans, but only foreigners. He ignores the fact that it is quite possible under this legislation for American citizens to be caught up in the spy dragnet it permits, and that there is no oversight mechanism to protect their privacy rights when this occurs–in fact, there is no real oversight mechanism at all.
We should certainly not let Bond get away with the vague “trust me–we will all be killed unless we permit the government unlimited, unsupervised spying” type of justification that he offers for this pernicious legislation. Clark’s excellent diary below (FISA back on the table) gives lots of great links to analyses of the FISA legislation as it stands and to proposals currently in play–I particularly recommend the ACLU site. I hope you all will make use of them to gather your facts before you rip into our esteemed Senator Bond.
UPDATE: This editorial from the New York Times rips into the Bush administration and its Republican supporters in the Congress for giving us just the type of tripe Bond spews in his letter to the Post-Dispatch (which was really probably prompted by their recent editorial dissing the Protect America Act). I guess Bond got his marching orders and has followed them like the good little Republican soldier he usually is (although he deserves thanks for his SCHIP vote).