(updated with time stamp bump)
I received a nice letter from Sen. Feinstein, nothing yet from Sen. Boxer. The proof of course will be in the pudding of today's Senate debate. Sens Feingold, Kerry, and Dodd have so far spoken out. Hopefully my Senators will stand up.
Do what you can to make your Senators, Dem or GOP, stand up. Call their DC offices now. Ask to speak to as top-level an aide as you can get to, preferably the aide responsible for homeland security issues. In a polite way, demand that they stand up for the Constitution and vote against this bill. Ask nicely if the Democrats plan to filibuster to delay passage for more reasoned negotiation, to take the bill out of the political hopper.
Froomkin, Greenwald and others are right -- this is a defining moment in American history. This is where the Constitutional rubber meets the road.
The bill to legalize torture actually has a chance to pass through Congress before they adjourn over the weekend. The fact that a bill this bad is even being debated is a sorry moment in the nation's history. There are numerous things wrong with the bill, as indicated here.
So what now? Well, it's time for action now, because there is no time. Congress adjourns over the weekend, and in 6 weeks an election will be held to send to Washington the 110th US Congress. We cannot let the 109th Congress pass legislation that will allow the US to become as morally bankrupt as those nations such as Iran and North Korea, those who are regularly demonized by the President.
The Senate is the best bet, as the minority party can hold up legislation via filibuster. What I have done, and what we all must do, is to write our Senators and ask for leadership. The Democrats in Congress are once again scurrying to the corners hoping not to be noticed so that they might not piss off the electorate and thus take over Congress.
Well, guess what? As the Lieberman example shows, people are pissed off and people want opposition to current administration policy.
So here's the letter I've written to my senators,Boxer and Feinstein. Use as much or as little (or nothing) from it as you like, but send a letter. Send one today. We need action and we need leadership.
Dear Senator Boxer -
I write to you very vexed and very concerned. I read story after story about the detainee-torture bill going through Congress right now. The absence of strong Democratic opposition to this prenicious, mendacious, immoral, and most importantly, unconstitutional bill troubles me greatly.
Where are you?
Where is Senator Feinstein? Wher are your colleagues, Senators Reid, Clinton, Obama, Feingold, et al? Where are the people who we look to for leadership, who must stand up and prevent this bill from becoming law?
Where are you? Why are you silent? Why have you abdicated leadership on this most vital of issues? Why are you allowing the Republicans to once again run roughshod over the legislative process, bullying a bad bill through to use only as a political wedge in an election year? Why are you afraid to fight?
Do you not realize that you earn more emnity and disgust by staying silent? Do you not relaize that as your silence on the matter grows louder day by day that you make it harder and harder for people to support you?
Hear me and my fellow concerned citizens now - stand up and fight this bill. And fight the NSA warrantless wiretapping bill. Stand up and fight or know that you will face a fight in your next election. Remember the lesson of Joe Lieberman -- those who do not stand up and listen to the people, those who do not then go and protect the people no longer deserve the support of the people and no longer deserve a position of leadership.
Leadership means taking risks. Stand up and fight now and you will earn more respect than by your current strategy of standing mute.
This bill is antithetical to everything it means to be an American.And I write from a unique position, as a non-citizen but legal resident. I am troubled by the fact that I can be detained on the say so of the President, without due process and any rights of habeas corpus. You represent a state with many people like me. At the moment we may not be able to vote. But we can work on campaigns, and we have citizenship applications on file. We will remain activists and we will become voters, and we will remember who stood up and took the lead and who sat mute and cowered in the corner.
So I ask again -- where are you?