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IL GP Cand Alesch Denounces Opponent’s Vote to Spy on Americans

Green Party Congressional Candidate Alesch Denounces Opponent Biggert for Voting to Spy on the American People and Protect her Largest Campaign Contributor, AT&T, from Criminal Prosecution

Steve Alesch, Green Party Candidate for Congress (IL 13), denounced opponent Judy Biggert (R) for voting yes for the FISA Bill, HR 6304, which passed in the House today 293 – 129.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), signed into law after the Watergate scandal, establishes how the government can secretly eavesdrop on Americans in their own country during intelligence investigations. This law, enacted in the 1970s, struck a balance between security and liberty, by creating a FISA court that would oversee government wiretapping of its citizens and provide judicial review to make sure the government did not abuse its power.

HR 6304, the FISA Amendments Acts of 2008, unconstitutionally and unnecessarily permits the government to monitor all of Americans’ international communications essentially without any court review. The bill also grants complete retroactive immunity to companies that facilitated warrentless wiretapping over the last seven years.

Candidate Alesch said, “He was shocked that his opponent would vote yes for an unconstitutional law that gives the US government the power to spy on its citizens, a clear violation of the 4th amendment to the US Constitution.”

Mr. Alesch also observed, “By voting for this law, my opponent also is blatantly favoring her largest contributor, AT&T, with reckless disregard for the constitutional rights of the people of her district. Today she voted yes to protect AT&T and other major telecommunication companies from being prosecuted for committing criminal acts they have already repeatedly committed for the last 7 years against the people in her district and provides AT&T and other companies immunity if they commit criminal acts in the future.”

“My opponent, Judy Biggert, has a history of voting to strip the American people of our civil liberties, in direct violation of the oath of office she took as Congressperson to protect the US Constitution. She has earlier voted to allow the US government to illegally invade, occupy, and pillage Iraq. She has also voted to allow our government to torture and imprison anyone in the world indefinitely, without ever being charged for any crimes, or ever having their day in court. With this latest reckless decision, she has today voted to give the president the power to order private citizens to break the law by requiring them to spy on their fellow citizens by secretly listening to our telephone calls and reading our e-mails without a warrant or judicial review”, said Candidate Alesch.

Mr. Alesch also said, “Furthermore, in December of 2005, President Bush admitted to the American people that he had violated the FISA law numerous times by secretly ordering the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans without ever seeking court approval. His administration further admitted that this crime was committed against hundreds and maybe thousands of unsuspecting Americans. Each of these criminal acts is impeachable and punishable up to 2 years in prison. This law, if signed by Bush, would also protect him from being charged with impeachable and criminal acts, thus it would be a conflict of interest for the President to sign this bill into law.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION

– Steve Alesch for Congress (IL 13) – http://www.votesteve.org
– December 18, 2005 – President Acknowledges Approving Secretive Eavesdropping, Washington Post,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/12/17/AR2005121700456.html

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