Spying, Lying and the Looming Patriot Act Vote

This President's Day, the capital awoke to a rising uproar over illegal spying and a fractious Patriot Act debate still hanging over Congress.

On Monday, the ACLU convened a National Town Hall discussion on spying, secrecy and presidential power. A lively panel of distinguished experts and an online audience of thousands gathered to examine the illegality and unconstitutionality of the Bush administration's secret NSA spying program.

The panel was moderated by Dr. Marvin Kalb, with guests including former White House counsel John W. Dean and Harvard law professor Laurence H. Tribe. The event was held before a live audience at George Washington University and was broadcast live on C-SPAN and via web cast at ACLU.org.

//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=n0cgz-V3yITD1JrrPgkFHQ..

You can watch a web replay of this important discussion and learn more about our expert panel. Go to:

//www.aclu.org/presidentialpower

Although our panel, the media, and lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agree that the president has overstepped his authority, Congress is now on the brink of voting to reauthorize and expand the Patriot Act, which would make secret searches of Americans' financial and internet records more coercive and more punitive.

Please call your senators right now: the final Senate vote is scheduled for next Tuesday, February 28. Demand that your senators oppose Patriot Act reauthorization unless significant changes are made to protect American privacy.

//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=eFo1O4Vq_nw6-WTSw8ghcg..

For talking points and to take action, go to: //action.aclu.org/call
//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=o10Pvvz4ypVFhlMhu0qGrA..

Last week, after months of debate, some key legislators cut a deal with the White House to reauthorize the Patriot Act without making the most important changes needed to protect our civil liberties.

The White House refused to negotiate in good faith on the most important civil liberties and privacy protections, namely requiring that any records sought be about a suspected foreign terrorist or an American conspiring with terrorists. The reauthorization bill fails to include these and other critical protections.

Senators Feingold, Bingaman and Leahy are attempting to add amendments that would help fix key problems with the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act must not be reauthorized unless these important changes are made to protect our freedoms.

Call your Senators right now and tell them to support the amendments offered by Senator Feingold and others to fix the Patriot Act.

//action.aclu.org/site/R?i=qcMcFlqrF7-p-k7Bs1jIKA..

Sincerely,
Signature
Caroline Fredrickson
Director, ACLU
Washington Legislative Office

P.S. As always, we appreciate it when you tell us how your calls went. To log your calls with us, or look up different members of congress, go to //action.aclu.org/call.

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