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My letter to Senator Smith on domestic spying

I'm writing a similar letter to Wyden and Blumenhour. I'm also going to send a carbon copy to the Oregonian.
Dear Senator Smith,

I am deeply concerned about President Bush's publicly acknowledged abuse of power when he authorized warrantless wiretaps on US Citizens even though a federal law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978, expressly prohibits the government from doing such a thing.

I am not a lawyer but I have taken a number of law classes to become a CPA. It was always my legal understanding that the Legislative branch passes laws, the Executive branch executed and implemented the laws, and the judicial branch interpreted the laws.

In the situation at hand, Congress passed a law that clearly stated that the Executive branch could not wiretap US Citizens without a court order. Violation of this law is a felony punishable by a large fine and a lengthy prison sentence. The administration clearly violated this law unless you accept the administration's contention that the executive branch has essentially unlimited "wartime" powers.

I would like to know if you agree that the executive branch has essentially unlimited "wartime" powers?

Do you agree we are at war and that the President has the power to wire tap US Citizens without a court order?

If you don't agree that the President has this power, I would like an explanation how this isn't a violation of the law?

I would like to know what you intend to do to uphold the law and US Constitution per your pledge as a US Senator?

I would like to point out that there is no sovereign nation to be at "war" with, no opposing military to be at "war" with, no front in this "war" and no end in sight for this "war". This seems exceedingly close to the endless wars in Orwell's 1984.

I believe we need robust inquires and not the mockery we witnessed when Attorney General Gonzalez appeared before a Senate Committee and wasn't even put under oath. If the inquiry shows President Bush violated the law then I think he and the other responsible and involved members of his administration should be impeached and removed from office.

I know it is difficult in this political climate to stand up to your party and administration but I hope you will take an independent view of the facts and circumstances and conclude that our country can and will survive terrorism, it won't survive a supreme ruler.

Respectfully yours,



Brian
Portland, OR