February 14, 2011
PATRIOT? Demand JUSTICE instead!
Last Tuesday’s surprise revolt in the House may have derailed fast-track reauthorization of the PATRIOT Act, but Congress is back at it again this week. Today, the House will vote again on whether to reauthorize unchecked and unaccountable government surveillance, despite repeated findings of abuse and dissent from across the political spectrum.
- Urge your representative to vote “no” on H.R. 67 and 514, or any other House bill that would reauthorize the PATRIOT Act without imposing meaningful protections for civil liberties.
- Ask that your representative support reintroduction of the JUSTICE Act, which would help fix abuses under the PATRIOT Act and also roll back portions of the constitutionally offensive FISA Amendments Act of 2008.
With voices from both parties demanding meaningful oversight, PATRIOT reauthorization should not proceed until Congress resolves documented, ongoing abuses and closes the loopholes that enabled them.
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) recently told The Hill that he regrets his vote for the PATRIOT Act last year:
A year ago, I made a terrible mistake and voted to extend those provisions of the PATRIOT Act. But the more that I learned, the more that I researched, it became crystal clear to me this that this is not only an affront to our Bill of Rights, but it's a fundamental challenge to our freedom.
From the other side of the aisle, and from across the country, Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) released a statement last week, after voting to reject PATRIOT Act reauthorization, saying,
The powers of intelligence and enforcement are among the most important powers of government, but also the most fearsome. They must be wielded very, very carefully.
Many thanks for your efforts, and stay tuned,