( – promoted by Michael Bersin)

Senator McCaskill,

I recently read that the President issued a signing statement rejecting the “Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan” that you and Senator Webb successfully amended into the Defense appropriations bill.  It was probably very disconcerting to you that the President could subvert the Constitutional role of Congress in making laws and funding initiatives.  I imagine you are as outraged by it as I am.

Now, put yourself in the place of one of the U.S. citizens who has filed suit against one of the telecommunication companies for their violations of the law and privacy agreements by engaging in warrantless wiretapping.  You want justice.  You want the companies found guilty so that they never do it again.  You also want the Administration’s wrongdoing to be exposed to the light of day.

Then you find out that the President, most of the Republican senators and representatives and a handful of Democrats want to grant those same telecom companies retroactive immunity, thereby erasing your rights and your search for justice with the stroke of a pen.  You know that this grant of immunity will not keep the telecom companies from breaking the law in the future and that it will allow the Administration to hide their lawbreaking.

Wouldn’t you feel the same outrage?  Then, how can you in good conscience support telecom immunity?  (By the way, the Specter amendment IS telecom immunity).  

Sprint and AT&T did not send you to Washington D.C.  – we did.  We, the people of Missouri, sent you because you promised to bring ACCOUNTABILITY.  How does the grant of immunity bring accountability to the telecoms and the Bush Administration?

President Bush and Vice President Cheney think that Congress and by extension, the American people are irrelevant.  They show their contempt for us every time they issue a signing statement trying to nullify legislation.  They show their contempt for us every time they chip away at our civil liberties.  They show their contempt for us every time they try to jawbone Congress into passing a law that hides their misdeeds.

We are all outraged by the trampling of the Constitution by this Administration.  The question is – what are YOU going to do about it?

You can start by voting to strip telecom immunity from the pending FISA legislation (S. 3907) and to tighten the existing law by adding in minimization, sequestration and sunset provisions (S. 3912, 3913, 3915, 3920, 3930, 3910) and by voting against Senator Bond’s attempts to broaden the Administration’s spying powers (S. 3938 and 3941).

It is time to do the job that we sent you to do.


Your Constituent