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***THE MAIN BOARDS - Welcome to the Prison Planet Educational Forum and Library*** => CIA has staged a Coup in the United States => General Discussion for the Prison Planet Educational Forum and Library => CASE STUDY: CIA collaboration with Telecom... FISA Immunity => Topic started by: Dig on February 27, 2008, 06:06:14 pm

Title: FISA Fight: Using veterans
Post by: Dig on February 27, 2008, 06:06:14 pm
FISA Fight: Using veterans
by mcjoan
Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 01:12:05 PM PST
http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/2/27/144117/624/646/465142
(Bumped -- kos)

The right is increasingly afraid of losing the battle over telco amnesty, and has been throwing everything they've got at the hold out Dems in Congress. They've spread the lie that this issue is about protecting American from the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal and WaPo to television sets across the nation.

Now they're using veterans to do their dirty work. The American Legion, the veterans' community-service organization that represents the men and women who have fought for their country and their Constitution, is urging those men and women to push Congress to pass the Protect AT&T Act.

“Since this war began, the Congress has done an exemplary job of ensuring that the nation’s fighting men and women are the best-trained and best-equipped military ever in American history,” National Commander Conatser wrote. “Today, The American Legion asks you to continue this precedent by equipping the intelligence assets with the necessary tools needed to provide these dedicated troops the very best information available by timely enactment of S.2248, The Foreign Intelligence and Surveillance Act (FISA).”...

“It defies all common sense to give lawsuits a higher priority than national security,” Conatser said. “The American people expect Congress to protect America, not the lawsuit lobby. This surveillance is aimed at terrorists who want to kill innocent Americans. The government is not interested in phone calls that you make to Aunt Sally.”

The American Legion has acted as a tool of the Republicans lots of times, but this takes the cake. Let's look at the lies. First, the Republican Congress was just a little bit lax when it came to ensuring that the troops in Iraq were even adequately equipped. Second, the House RESTORE Act contains all of the "necessary tools" for intelligence that S. 2248 has. It just doesn't protect AT&T, nor does it allow the administration to cover up its lawbreaking. Third, and this one has to be repeated an awful lot, apparently, the ACLU and the Electronic Frontiers Foundation are not the lawsuit lobby. Fourth, whether or not the government is interested in your calls to Aunt Sally, they might have listened in. For no good reason and, this is the important part, illegally.

Did the veterans of America's wars really fight so that AT&T could break the law without being punished? So that their government could illegally spy on anyone they want to, and get away with it? Somehow I don't think so. It's a real shamethat the American Legion, the organization that is supposed to be representing them and helping to get legislation that really benefits them (like more body armor, like fully funded veterans care, like adequate treatment for brain injuries and PTSD) is instead lying to them.

If you're a veteran and are opposed to giving AT&T a free pass for breaking the law, please let the American Legion know that they don't speak for you. Call them at (202) 861-2700 or use this contact page.

And if you aren't a veteran, but want to combat all of the calls and e-mails that will be going to Congress as a result of the American Legion's effort, why not just go ahead and use the toll free numbers they have to call your Congress person and Senators and tell them you don't want AT&T to get off the hook.

Call toll free to the Capitol Switchboard: 1-877-851-6437, 1-800-828-0498, or 1-800-614-2803.  Ask for the office you would like to speak to.  You can also request that one office transfer you to the next office.  Most staff members are happy to do so.