This in the mail from MoveOn.org:
This week, the Senate is planning to quietly hold a vote that would pardon President Bush for breaking the law by illegally wiretapping innocent Americans without warrants. According to Senator Leahy, the bill would "...immunize officials who have violated federal law by authorizing such illegal activities."
President Bush broke the law, and courts are starting to agree. Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter once said the program was illegal "on its face." But he has now caved to pressure from Vice President Cheney, and introduced legislation that marks a new low: the bill justifies everything the president did. Worse, it makes it legal to wiretap Americans, in secret, without warrants or oversight, whenever the administration wants to.
Here are some quick facts about the Cheney-Specter bill:
* It allows President Bush and every president after him to wiretap Americans indefinitely, in secret, without a warrant and without any oversight.
* It effectively pardons the president for any illegal behavior by forcing Congress to concede that he has the inherent authority to conduct the program something federal courts, numerous legal experts and many leading Republicans disagree with.
* It completely guts FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) which has protected the privacy of Americans against illegal wiretaps for close to 30 years.
* It prevents any legal challenges from taking place in the public court system. Instead, it moves all cases to a secret court, where only Bush administration officials can argue it.
Since the program was exposed in December of last year, we've learned that President Bush personally blocked a Justice Department investigation of the program, Vice President Cheney also personally intervened to stop telecom companies from testifying to Congress about it, and a federal court recently ruled the program unconstitutional. In an effort to protect himself from further consequences, the president is pressuring Congress to let him off the hook.
–Nita, Eli, Jennifer, Wes and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Monday, September 18th, 2006
To sign a petition against pardoning the President for breaking the law click here.