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Monday, March 3rd, 2008

Time Event
2:20p
Congress may still grant amnesty for illegal spying
The ACLU writes,
    "Under pressure from the White House, the US Senate recently passed a terrible bill that rubber-stamped the President's warrantless spying on innocent Americans. Worse yet, it lets telecoms who went along with the illegal program off the hook. Now the Bush fear factory has turned its attention to the House, which is under increasing pressure to cave in to these scare tactics and pass the Senate bill."
    ...
    We need you to call your Representative today via the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121.
    If you have time, please also call Speaker Pelosi (202-225-0100) and Majority Leader Hoyer (202-225-4131).
    Tell them to:
    • Stand strong against fear-mongering and the terrible Senate bill
    • Reject immunity for phone companies
    • Reject warrantless spying

Telecom companies are defending themselves in court against charges that they broke the law when they collaborated with the government's illegal domestic spying. If Congress excuses the phone companies, the court cases will abruptly end and we'll probably never know the details of Bush's illegal spying.

Here's what has happened since I posted about this a month ago:
  • All of Russ Feingold's amendments were defeated in the Senate.

  • Chris Dodd realized the Senate was hopeless, and that the House was the best hope, so he dropped his filibuster and the "Protect America Act" extension passed the Senate with amnesty for telecom companies in the bill.

  • House Democratic leaders tried to pass a PAA extension without amnesty for telecoms, but couldn't get enough support, so they let the PAA expire without passing any extension. Bush said he'd veto the bill if it didn't have amnesy for telecom companies.

  • The Protect America Act expired, and Republicans started running scary TV ads full of lies (we don't really need the PAA, and good riddance to it).

  • Now, the House is considering caving in and passing a PAA extension with amnesty for telecom companies, just like the Senate already did.

If you don't want this to happen, please call your Representative ASAP?

P.S. Please repost this.
P.P.S. If this post appears twice, it's because post-by-email is having trouble. I'll delete the duplicates; this is the real post.

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