Monday, December 19, 2005

My letter to Waxman

Hon. Congressman Waxman,

As a constituent of your district, I am incensed by the relative lack of outrage by Congress in reaction to the President's recent proud admission of authorizing the NSA to conduct domestic surveillance on U.S. citizens without a warrant or court order--an act which appears to be unconstitutional under the provisions of the fourth amendment, and illegal under US Code Title 50, Section 1809, which restricts the use of electronic surveillance to those conducted "pursuant to a search warrant or court order of a court of competent jurisdiction."

Just as distressing, however, is the question of why these surveillance authorizations were made. Given that the FISA court, which is responsible for issuing warrants for surveillance related to national security, is known to approve nearly all requests and even issues retroactive warrants in cases of emergency, it is essential to ask why the President and the NSA did not seek FISA court warrants for the surveillance projects they wished to conduct. This convergence of facts suggests that the President and the NSA wished to conduct surveillance on persons or groups for which not even FISA would issue a warrant of probable cause. This possibility should alarm any Americans who value their right to free speech and free assembly.

As an American citizen, I demand that Congress conduct an investigation into whether or not these authorizations do indeed, as they initially appear to, violate the Constitution and the United States Code, as well as an investigation into why the President felt the need to issue such authorizations without FISA court order and whom the surveillance was conducted on. The sanctity of our freedoms deserves nothing less.

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