Dear Diva Jood,
It has been a busy day in Congress today and while our movement for accountability for the Bush/Cheney White House just took a major leapforward with the testimony of former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, we also unfortunately took a terrible step backwards with the tragic approval of new FISA legislation. I voted against this awful FISA law that degrades the privacy guarantees of our Constitution.
What we heard from Mr. McClellan was confirmation under oath of what we have long suspected: the President, Vice President, Karl Rove, Scooter Libby and others purposefully conspired to mislead Americans for political gain and at the cost of the lives of our soldiers, the security of our nation, and the sanctity of our Constitution.
Today, Scott McClellan said that he considers it a likely possibility that Vice President Dick Cheney was the person who authorized the leak of Valerie Plame Wilson's covert status. Mr. McClellan also said that he believes more White House officials should come before Congress and reveal the truth about this Administration's actions.
McClellan's testimony underscores a simple reality:
We must dig deeper. As I said today in the Judiciary Committee hearing, the facts we know now are more than enough to justify impeachment hearings for President George W. Bush and Vice-President Dick Cheney. You can read my entire testimony today below.
There is no higher agenda than protecting the Constitution. The Separation of Powers principle is being threatened, our Civil Rights are under attack, and must pursue accountability no matter what the political cost.
The FISA Vote
Today I voted against the so-called FISA "compromise" bill, as the only thing that is really being compromised is our civil rights.
In spite of the earnest, hard work of many Members of Congress, the President has continued to demand that Congress rubber-stamp his illegal wiretapping program.
Every American wants to protect our country from terrorists; but the President is not asking for tools to thwart terrorists. He is demanding unchecked power. He expects the Congress to throw out even the most modest, expedited court review on the absurd premise that a specially designed court with over 30 years of experience handling surveillance requests is suddenly going to bring our nation's intelligence operations to a standstill.
The rights of everyday Americans are at issue here, and full accountability needed. A court that is given full and appropriate review of the particular circumstances in each case is the only appropriate venue for making decisions about immunity for actions that may or may not have violated the civil liberties of some individuals.
In addition, while I am sympathetic to the difficult position telephone and Internet service providers, who may have thought they were doing their patriotic duty, the fact remains that I simply cannot support offering retroactive immunity. I have had the opportunity to view some of the documents in question, and I can say that my position on this subject is unchanged.
I will continue to support the March 14th House bill that preserves the appropriate court review of all surveillance of US citizens and gives judges the discretion to review all the necessary documents related to telecom lawsuits without offering blanket immunity.
Continue Our Fight for Accountability
I also want to thank the thousands of Americans who sent emails to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel defending my position in favor of impeachment. I can assure you I will not back down.
In fact, over the next week I will appearing on numerous television programs where I intend to raise these issues as often as I can. You can see me on the following television shows:
• Sunday, June 22nd at noon (EST) on CNN's Late Edition,
• Tuesday, June 24 at 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm (EST) on Hardball on MSNBC,
• Wednesday June 25 at 3:30 pm (EST) on CNN's the Situation Room,
•Thursday June 26 at 11:30 pm (EST) on Comedy Central's the Colbert Report
•Friday June 27 at 7:30 am (EST) on MSNBC's Morning Joe.
I am grateful for your continued support and advocacy.
Congressman Robert Wexler