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I live in CT, and I've been bombarded with those *#@% Defense of Democracies ads for both Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney. And, quite frankly, I've had enough of it.

I was actually planning to write a LTE about the hypocrisy of McCain, but I figure that, given the airtime this ad is getting--an average of once every half-hour, if not more--that it might be a good idea to send this one first.

I have the letter below the fold. Any advice you can give on improving this, I'd greatly appreciate it.

If you've watched Connecticut TV stations, you've undoubtedly seen ads warning that the law allowing wiretapping has expired, "crippling" intelligence gathering, and that Americans are now more in danger because of that lapse. Quite simply, these statements are blatant lies.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the fundamental law governing government wiretapping, remains in effect, as do the provisions that allow the government to begin wiretapping for up to 72 hours before applying for a warrant; in addition, all current wiretapping can continue. Even the White House has admitted that no data has been lost as a result of this supposed "crippling."

Moreover, this misleading ad ignores the fact that the reason the House refused to vote is that House Democrats correctly refused to pass a law legitimizing the illegal warrantless wiretapping practiced by the Bush administration with the aid of some telecommunications companies. (The fig leaf about "protecting" those companies is just that, as they are already required to comply with legal requests.) The House version of the bill provides the government the tools it needs for intelligence gathering, without condoning the illegal actions of telecommunications companies as the Senate version does. So, one might wonder, why does this "Defense of Democracies" group find giving amnesty to companies so important?

The ad urges you to contact Congressmen Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney to urge them to pass the Senate version of H.R. 3773. But, if like most Americans, you believe that the government should not be illegally spying on its own citizens, then your time would be better spent calling them and thanking Murphy and Courtney for standing up for the rights of all Americans.

I know, <150 words is best, but my local paper allows letters up to 300 words (and does publish letters that long), so I'd prefer to keep it as informative as possible.</p>

Of course, if you want to adapt this for your own uses, please feel free to do so.

Originally posted to Samer on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 06:50 PM PST.

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Are these EFF ads full of crap?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aprichard, Translator, carver, Ab2kgj

    plskthx :)

  •  good overall... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aprichard, snoopydawg

    I'd make more emphasis on the fact that the only reason this bill is being held up is the immunity provision.  you cant blame the democrats for your insistence on immunity.

    A lie makes it halfway around before the truth gets out the door.--Mark Twain(paraphrased) -4.50, -1.90

    by Ab2kgj on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:06:15 PM PST

  •  Glenn Greenwald (0+ / 0-)

    I would suggest reading Glenn Greenwalds blog for some good ideas. This is a good start but gets mired in details that many readers probably won't get through.

    I would suggest something like "The real reason this bill is so important to the Republicans has nothing to do with terrorism, it is solely to get amnesty for the illegal actions of the Telecommunications companies and by extension George Bush. The Republicans will tell you that these companies should not be prosecuted for being accomplices in the Bush Administrations illegal wiretapping because they were just following orders. Well it just so happens that we have an entire branch of government dedicated to determining if laws were broken. This case should be tried in a courtroom not in Congress.

    One of the hallmarks of a banana Republic is when the Congressional Branch overrules the judiciary to allow lawbreaking by the the well connected. It is sad to see the U.S. stoop to that level and disgusting to see the government using fear to justify there illegal attacks on our constitution."

    Or something like that. Some talking points

    Attack on the right to privacy, unchecked abuse of power, "Give me liberty or give me death", The most secretive government in history presided over the most far reaching invasion of our privacy, When the government has the power to read every email and listen in on every phone call it is almost guaranteed to be abused, too many people died protecting our constitution to allow it to be subverted out of fear.

    "We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men." Edward R. Murrow

    by aprichard on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:17:16 PM PST

  •  Change wiretapping to eavesdropping... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer, snoopydawg

    Technology has changed.

    By Grabthar's Hammer...What a Savings!

    by Viceroy on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:20:46 PM PST

  •  Looks okay. Just ran thru it... (0+ / 0-)

    changed/re-arranged a couple things-

    If you've watched Connecticut TV stations, you've probably seen ads telling you that the law allowing wiretapping has expired, "crippling" intelligence gathering, and that Americans are now more in danger because of that lapse. Quite simply, these statements are blatant lies. Even the White House has admitted that no data has been lost as a result of this supposed "crippling."
    The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), the law governing government wiretapping, remains in effect, as do the provisions allowing the government to begin wiretapping for up to 72 hours before applying for a legal court warrant; in addition, all current wiretapping can continue.
    This misleading ad ignores the fact that the reason the House refused to vote is that House Democrats correctly refused to pass a law legitimizing the illegal warrantless wiretapping practiced by the Bush administration with the aid of some telecommunications companies. (The fig leaf about "protecting" those companies is just that, as they are already required to comply with legal warrants.) The House version of the bill provides the government the tools it needs for intelligence gathering, without condoning the illegal actions of telecommunications companies as the Senate version does. So, one might wonder, why does this "Defense of Democracies" group find giving amnesty to companies so important?
    The ad urges you to contact Congressmen Chris Murphy and Joe Courtney to urge them to pass the Senate version of H.R. 3773. But, if like most Americans, you believe that our government should not be illegally spying on its own citizens, then your time would be better spent calling them and thanking Murphy and Courtney for standing up for the rights of all Americans.

    -- We are just regular people informed on issues

    by mike101 on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:22:15 PM PST

  •  How about (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    snoopydawg

    I find it ironic that the same people that say government cannot be trusted to do anything right want to give government unchecked power to invade our privacy, at heart this is what the debate about illegal eavesdropping and telecommunication amnesty is really about.

    The FISA law was passed in 1978 in response to abuses of power and invasions of privacy of innocent Americans by the Nixon Administration. This law crafted a careful balance between national security and providing oversight of government activity and has been modified many times as technology changed.

    The Bush Administration decided to ignore this law and avoid any oversight of its activities. Now that the Bush Administrations illegal program has been revealed, telecommunications companies are being forced to justify their part in the illegal activity in court. Rather than let the court process proceed, the Bush Administration wants to subvert the rule of law and circumvent the courts in order to give amnesty to telecommunications companies and by extension hide their own lawbreaking from the American public.

    As much as Republicans try to scare us, this is not about terrorism, it is a about whether or not our government is above the law.

    "We will not be driven into an age of unreason if we dig deep into our history and remember we are not descended from fearful men." Edward R. Murrow

    by aprichard on Wed Feb 27, 2008 at 07:59:12 PM PST

  •  Privacy? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Samer

    Overall it's a pretty good LTE, but I think you should include a note about how this a massive effort on behalf of the Bush Administration to expand the invasion of privacy on Americans.  These same ads are being ran in Wisconsin.  

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