Today, there is a genuine opportunity -- the first in a long time -- for Senate Democrats to take a meaningful stand against the lawlessness of the Bush administration. Whether they are willing to take this stand largely depends upon how much citizen demand they hear from Americans like you and me.
The Bush administration has been trying to bully Congress into passing a law that would legalize vast new warrantless eavesdropping powers for the President to spy on Americans. The law also provides full immunity to telecommunications companies which enabled the Bush administration to spy on you without the warrants required by law.
Worse, if telecom amnesty were granted, it would result in the immediate dismissal of numerous lawsuits against the telecoms, thus extinguishing the only remaining means for discovering what our Government really was doing over the last seven years as it illegally spied on our telephone conversations and emails.
Last week, it looked as though enough Senate Democrats were going to vote in favor of the Bush plan in order to pass this radical bill. But a funny thing happened on the way to the latest Democratic capitulation: Republicans tried to block the Senate from voting on ANY of the Democrats' proposed amendments and are trying to force a quick vote on the bill.
Now, led by Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrats are vowing to filibuster and block the Senate from voting on Monday. If the Democrats can sustain a filibuster and prevent passage of this bill, this would be a major defeat for Bush and the Senate Republicans. But because there are numerous Democratic Senators still wavering, it is unclear if a filibuster can be sustained. That's where you come in.
Please call your senators and demand they filibuster to stop telecom immunity right now:
After you call, please report how it went here:
The more people who call the wavering Democratic Senators -- and even potential pro-filibuster Republicans -- and urge them to support a filibuster of the new FISA bill, the higher the likelihood is that the filibuster will be sustained. Let them hear your opposition to new warrantless eavesdropping powers and amnesty for lawbreaking telecoms.
I will be live-blogging the proceedings on Monday at my blog on Salon.com and you can follow developments there. It has been a long, long time since Senate Democrats won anything and a victory on Monday could be a critically important win for real accountability and the rule of law.
Thank you for taking action today.