Monday, August 6, 2007

A Threat to Civil Liberties

A Threat to Civil Liberties
By Jerome Grossman

I am appalled by the new law passed by the Congress controlled by the Democrats that expands the government's power to wiretap phone calls and e-mails on American soil without court oversight. This Protect America Act of 2007, drafted by the White House in virtual secrecy, received no committee hearing, no input from the public. The new law allows the National Security Agency to spy freely on foreigners overseas and the Americans with whom they communicate without a warrant. The law gives the power to design and supervise the procedures to the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence; in effect, the government will be monitoring itself. The law passed the Senate 60 to 28 with 16 Democrats in favor and 227 to 183 in the House with 41 Democrats in favor. Democratic leaders, Senator Harry Reid and Speaker Nancy Pelosi did not organize opposition. Where was the liberal outcry from civil libertarians protecting privacy? Where were the conservatives concerned with the expansion of big government? The founding fathers of our republic set up a system of countervailing and balancing powers vested in the Executive, the Congress, and the Judiciary in the interest of restraining government power. This law is contrary to these basic principles and should be opposed or modified when it comes up for renewal in six months.

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