As a voter and a constituent, I was shocked and appalled this morning to discover that you had voted for S.1927 -- Pres. Bush's changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. I am amazed you would do this even after it has been demonstrated that Pres. Bush conspired to work outside the bounds of existing law in setting up his wiretapping program through the NSA. (Also see the Electronic Frontier Foundation's article at http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/archives/005386.php .)
In your press release, you state, "The intelligence community is deeply concerned that chatter among suspected terrorist networks is up. I am concerned as well. We are living in a period of heightened vulnerability, and must give the intelligence community the tools they need to protect America."
I share your concerns. I am concerned about the potential harm terrorists may do to me, my family, and my countrymen. However, I am far more concerned about the ACTUAL harm that will be done to American liberties through this Act. I am concerned about the ACTUAL harm that will be perpetrated all across the country as the Attorney General's office uses their new toy to hunt down anyone they might think a terrorist, WITH NO PRIOR COURT REVIEW. I am concerned about the ACTUAL harm done to recipients of these section 105 certifications, now conscripted into the government's intelligence network against their will, and possibly their ethics.
I can only hope the damage done by this law is limited. But the public will never know for sure, since anyone served with a certification will be bound to secrecy.
In trying to solve the terrorist problem, you, Senator, have created a much bigger one. You have sent a message to President Bush and his administration that violating the civil liberties of Americans is OK -- you'll just pass a law so it's not illegal anymore.
For that, you have lost my respect, and my vote.