(picture and artwork, courtesy of our own talented ilona. thanks, ilona!)
Not only did he lay out a case, but he also prescribed a specific five-point course of action and implored members of congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, to not allow this deterioration of constitutional precepts to continue.
A Gore-inspired Comprehensive 10-Step Plan
For holding the administration accountable on warrantless wiretapping
- Demand a special counsel investigation into warrantless wiretaps, with suitable clearances being granted for the investigation, and operating in the FISA court, if necessary
- Form a congressional panel to look into the classification requirements being claimed by the administration on wiretaps.
- Establish whistleblower protections.
- Demand telephone companies to cease and desist complicity with wiretaps and other forms of surveillance outside the purview of existing laws including FISA.
- Filibuster any bills that attempt to retroactively justify the circumvention of the law by the administration.
- Conduct congressional inquiries into the wiretaps (e.g. Sen. Byrd's S. 2362) as well as various other matters of administrative dysfunction (as in Rep. Conyers' HR 635). Sen. Schumer's S. 2468 is of interest as well.
- Dem leaders should make extensive media appearances informing the public about the excesses of the administrations and its attempts to sidestep the constitution, and soundly argue for taking appropriate actions to remedy the situation
- If the Whitehouse and the Rubberstamping GOP stonewall and shut out getting to the bottom of the NSA wiretaps, then censure Bush.
- Appoint a congressional panel to look into rescinding the 2001 AUMF (authorization to use military force) which the administration has been employing as carte blanche for endless war and from which Bush is drawing his purported "authority as Commander in Chief in time of war" to run warrantless surveillance and claim other dictatorial powers. This panel would consider the question of Congress taking back its Constitutional war power.
- Optionally, Draft articles of impeachment on Bush's declared dictatorial intent, claims of "unitary executive" privileges, which are instantiated by the arrogation of power on warrantless wiretaps.
The deal is this. There is every indication that this warrantless (illegal) NSA wiretapping is very extensive (according to a whistle blower called Russ Tice, in the order of millions, something that seems to be well corroborated by the AT&T case that is currently under court investigation).
More importantly, the fact that Bush is circumventing the FISA law, exceeding his constitutional authority and even showed dictatorial intent in his signing statement can not be left unaddressed. Our action in this matter is much warranted.
Here is what I'd like to suggest to the readers:
- look up your members of congress (your two senators and your Representative) at this link
- call and/or write to all three of them, and tell them firmly and politely that you'd like to see them take serious action into this matter
- please feel free to mention the items in the compilation above. Most importantly, please ask them to demand a special-counsel investigation into the matter, and to take steps to rescind the AUMF (point 9 above), and restore the "war powers" authority back into the hands of the US congress.
Please post any feedback from your calls and other correspondence below.
Your recommendations of the diary will help give this matter a much needed fresh round of attention. Thanks in advance.