Sunday, August 5, 2007

A Ray Of Hope Regarding FISA

(This is a sunrise as seen from the Master’s Lodge at the top of Napier Hill in New Zealand. Image credit: New Zealand Escapes Travel.)

Firedoglake commenter Bob in Hi pointed out this letter that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent to Rep. John Conyers (D-MI-14) who is the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Silvestre Reyes (D-TX-16) who's the chairman of the Select Committee on Intelligence. Its contents:

August 4, 2007

The Honorable John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary
2138 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Silvestre Reyes
Chairman, Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
H-405 The Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Conyers and Chairman Reyes:

Thank you for your leadership on matters affecting the security of the American people and the protection of the liberties that define our country.

I know that your committees have been working diligently on a proposal by the Administration to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). I also understand that your work has been hindered by the Administration’s refusal to provide all of the documents you believe are relevant to your consideration of the proposal.

Tonight, the House passed S. 1927, a bill approved by the Senate yesterday, which is an interim response to the Administration’s request for changes in FISA, and which was sought to fill an intelligence gap which is asserted to exist. Many provisions of this legislation are unacceptable, and, although the bill has a six month sunset clause, I do not believe the American people will want to wait that long before corrective action is taken.

Accordingly, I request that your committees send to the House, as soon as possible after Congress reconvenes, legislation which responds comprehensively to the Administration’s proposal while addressing the many deficiencies in S. 1927.

Thank you for your attention to this request and for your service to our country.

best regards,

Nancy Pelosi

The Gavel: Amend FISA As Soon As Possible

Of course, this is the 110th Congress we're talking about here, so I don't hold out much hope that anything will actually be done. I suspect the only way that's likely to happen is if people let their Congressmen know how they feel.

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