Say No to the "Big Brother" Bills - Protect Our Civil Liberties!

This is a make or break week for civil liberties. Lawmakers are voting on legislation that would combine two dangerous bills: one authorizing the government to spy on unknowing citizens, the other stripping basic due process protections from U.S. detainees.

The proposals being voted on this week by Congress are truly frightening. This nightmare “Big Brother” bill would combine a rubber stamp for warrantless domestic spying on phone calls and emails with new torture and detention tactics that would gut U.S. compliance with the Geneva Conventions and stain our nation's legacy as the standard bearer for human rights.

The character of our nation and our laws will be redefined if these measures pass. The vote is set for this week; please act right now!

Dear [Congress member],

As your constituent, I oppose any attempts to ratify the NSA program to spy on Americans without individualized warrants, including S. 3931 (in the Senate) and H.R. 5825 (in the House). I also oppose the military tribunals compromise between the White House and Senators Graham, McCain and Warner.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which Dick Cheneys NSA spying bills would eviscerate, already gives the government all the tools it needs to protect us from terrorists. Current law allows the government to start spying on suspected terrorists without an individualized warrant as long as it seeks one after the fact.

The current compromise proposal for the treatment of military detainees between Bush and Senators McCain, Graham and Warner is unacceptable because it allows the president to broadly control how the Geneva Conventions are interpreted, completely undermining their effectiveness. Please vote against any bill that invites abuse of prisoners by weakening the enforcement of Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions or taking power away from the courts to interpret them.

Civil liberties and the war on terrorism are not mutually exclusive. You have the duty to keep me both safe and free by blocking this legislation and supporting alternatives to the administrations proposals that would actually reinforce the rule of law rather than retroactively legalize the president's illegal actions.

These proposals fly in the face of the Constitution and violate civil liberties while giving a get out of jail free card to those who have broken the law. Please use all means at your disposal to stop these bills dead in their tracks.

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