Today, there was a very important and very simple vote in the U.S. House of Representatives. Leaders of both political parties tried to make the vote seem more complicated than it was, to try to quell protest against the bill, and they tried to hush and rush the bill through in 24 hours so no one would notice what happened.
We noticed. We are paying attention. We are ready to raise a ruddy ruckus in protest.
Let’s start with the basic facts:
1. The name of the bill is the FISA Amendments Act. It’s registered number is H.R. 6304
2. The bill extends the terrible Protect America Act, which allows:
- a) Massive electronic spying against American citizens’ telephone calls, emails, and web activities
- b) Tracking of Americans’ physicial movements through cell phone and GPS technology
- c) Physical searches of Americans’ homes and places of work
- d) All of a), b), and c) without any search warrant, without any judicial restraint, and without any meaningful congressional oversight
3. The bill gives retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications corporations that broke the law by giving George W. Bush private information about the personal communications of millions of Americans, without permission and without telling their customers about the breach of their privacy agreements
4. The bill is unconstitutional, in violation of the 4th amendment to the Constitution and the separation of powers
To vote for this bill was to insult the Constitution of the United States of America, and in doing so, to insult the USA itself. A vote in favor of this bill is a betrayal of the Oath of Office every member of Congress has taken. It is unpatriotic, and a grave breach of trust.
The idea to pass the FISA Amendments Act was Republican, but the passage of the FISA Amendments Act was by no means a purely Republican act. One hundred and five Democratic members of Congress abandoned their duty to the Constitution and joined George W. Bush and the Republicans in order to vote for big government spying on Americans.
The names of the 293 members of Congress who betrayed their Oath to uphold the Constitution are: