Madame Speaker has written a letter to the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, requesting that they convene as quickly as possible (after vacation, of course) to amend the FISA legislation they just green-lighted.
Forgive my stupidity, but I don't know how this game works.
In all games I've ever played, the object is to win, by scoring points, by gaining territory, or by maneuvering the opponent into an inescapable trap. I've somehow missed the concept of 'win by capitulation'; of 'surrender for victory'; of 'kiss ass for the brass ring'.
Forgive me for using some of the same epithets normally reserved by those on the "right", the warmongering chickenhawks who accuse us of being such things as "surrender monkeys", or "terrorist sympathizers", for demanding an end to the administration's illegal and immoral war. We all know this is an entirely different matter.
Speaker Pelosi's letter to the Honorables Conyers and Reyes:
August 4, 2007
The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable Silvestre Reyes
Chairman, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
H-405 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Conyers and Chairman Reyes:
Thank you for your leadership on matters affecting the security of the American people and the protection of the liberties that define our country.
I know that your committees have been working diligently on a proposal by the Administration to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I also understand that your work has been hindered by the Administration’s refusal to provide all of the documents you believe are relevant to your consideration of the proposal.
Tonight, the House passed S. 1927, a bill approved by the Senate yesterday, which is an interim response to the Administration’s request for changes in FISA, and which was sought to fill an intelligence gap which is asserted to exist. Many provisions of this legislation are unacceptable, and, although the bill has a six month sunset clause, I do not believe the American people will want to wait that long before corrective action is taken.
Accordingly, I request that your committees send to the House, as soon as possible after Congress reconvenes, legislation which responds comprehensively to the Administration’s proposal while addressing the many deficiencies in S. 1927.
Thank you for your attention to this request and for your service to our country.
But this is NOT a game, Madame Speaker. This is our Constitution at stake. Political games do not help the American People, especially when the strategy is to give away territory, then burn valuable time playing catch-up ball.
Rather than standing firm against an administration that ignores the law, lies to the People, and treats the Congress like an annoying swarm of houseflies, the Democrats we elected for change have instead chosen to hand them even more power. As if this isn't enough, the additional power the Congress has ceded to the Executive Branch falls squarely in the lap of an Attorney General who has repeatedly perjured himself before the nation, and who has repeatedly displayed both his incompetence and his loyalty to a man, rather than loyalty to the Constitution and the law.
You and your colleagues will have much to answer for in the coming months. I truly hope you are able to rectify this travesty, but, in all honesty, it seems too little, too late. The precedents are now established. In the interim, there will be innocent people swept up in the vaccuum of "total information awareness" given a patriotic name, and there will no doubt be a flurry of "terrorist plots" foiled by this miraculous new legislation -- legislation which serves only to further weaken the Bill of Rights, and to push this administration's activities further into the dark, and out of sight.
If this is your idea of "protecting America", I respectfully request that you cease and desist in your efforts to "protect" me. I am willing to accept the risks that go along with freedom, but this notion of freedom becomes an ironic joke under the boots of a government out of control. Please, I beg you, and all of your colleagues in the Congress who swore to defend the Constitution against all enemies, both foriegn and domestic, do not protect this once-proud nation to death.