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Thanks to everyone for all their hard work over the last week in stopping the Telecom Immunity Bill in the Senate. Because you kept up the pressure on McCaskill, she voted “No” on the telecom immunity bill before Congress on Monday. And believe me, all your calls and faxes had an effect. Early on, the staffers answering the phones hardly offered to take down your contact information, and didn’t really seem to know why changes to FISA were a big deal. Now, they’re polite and much more apt to listen to your concerns about government spying. It’s crazy that any effort at all is required to open a government official’s eyes and ears, but that makes our effort all the more urgent.

Unfortunately, McCaskill’s going to need to hear a little more from us. I have it on good authority that while McCaskill opposed the McConnell version of telecom immunity, she favors the “compromise” Feinstein or Specter version of telecom community.

More below the flip.

The Courage Campaign has outlined the reasons why Feinstein’s and Specter’s amendments aren’t worth the paper they are printed on.

First, the Feinstein amendment kicks the question of whether or not telecom companies were guilty of cooperating with Bush’s illegal wiretaps to the FISA court. In other words, a secret court with no public scrutiny or accountability will determine the question of immunity, and we may never even know which way the court decided.

Second, the amendment establishes a “good faith” test to determine whether a company was guilty. In other words, a telecom company could be found guilty of illegal behavior, but let off the hook if they can demonstrate that they didn’t know that they were doing wrong. Gee – I’d love to be held to that standard. I could pay half my taxes and plead that I had made a effort in good faith to total them up correctly, but my math isn’t so good.

The Specter amendment, which would substitute the goverment as the defendant instead of the telecom companies should a case be brought, is also a raw deal for Americans. The US government can bring a lot more to bear in its defense, like as invoking state secrets privileges, than a private entity like a corporation. The ACLU opposes both amendments, because they are both really just splitting the baby. Either you support holding Americans accountable for complicity in illegal acts, or you don’t.

I really don’t understand why, when forced to choose between Sprint and the people of Missouri, McCaskill would side with Sprint. I think we outnumber Sprint a great deal in both votes and donations.

Please contact McCaskill right away:

D.C.

Phone:(202) 224-6154

Fax:(202)228-6326

Kansas City

Phone: (816) 421-1639

Fax: (816) 421-2562

Address:

400 East 9th Street, Suite 40 Plaza Level

Kansas City, MO 64106

Cape Girardeau

Phone: (573) 651-0964

Fax:

Address:

339 Broadway, Room 136

Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

St. Louis

Phone: (314) 367-1364

Fax: (314) 361-8649

Address:

5850 A Delmar Blvd.

St. Louis, MO 63103

Columbia

Phone: (573) 442-7130

Fax: (573) 442-7140

Address:

915 E. Ash St.

Columbia, MO 65201

Springfield

Phone: (417) 291-1475

Fax:

Address:

324 Park Central West, Ste. 101

Springfield, MO 65806