UPDATE: From comments, Maryb2004 points out that there is still time to call – the House is in a lunch recess. So what are you waiting for???
UPDATE II: Victory! Well, sort of. Enough votes were peeled off from both the left and the right that the leadership had to pull the bill. More on this later.
A couple of important votes are coming up this week, the SCHIP veto override on Thursday and the FISA-revising RESTORE Act today. More on the SCHIP vote soon.
Following up on this post, I got in touch with the office of my reliably progressive congressman, the Honorable William Lacy Clay, Jr. I received no clear answer on telecom immunity or basket warrants from the staffers I talked to, but today I received an e-mail from Congressman Clay’s office that concerned me. From the e-mail:
[The RESTORE Act] would create Programmatic Authorizations that would resolve the confusion over whether the intelligence community needs individualized warrants for foreign targets if there is a risk that they might be communicating with American citizens; this would be achieved through a program of collection against the foreign target, that, upon proper application and review, would facilitate intelligence gathering for an “organization” and effectively eliminate the need for individual warrants against a “particular” terrorist suspect.[emphasis mine]
In other words, the bill would legalize warrants that did not require the government to specify at whom it is targeted, as long as the government could claim a link to a suspicious “organization”. I don’t know about you, but the thought of my government being able to spy on me, my friends, and family without being forced to name a reason terrifies me. I don’t trust a Supreme Court with Roberts, Alito, and Thomas on it to confirm its unconstitutionality, either.
If a congressman as liberal as Clay is defending this provision, we are in trouble indeed. Get on the phone NOW and let your representative know that blanket warrants are not OK. And pass this message along to your friends!