Bit by bit, day by day, one of the most important things we can do as activists against the FISA Amendments Act is to hold accountable the members of Congress who voted for the terrible law. Especially with the Democrats who turned coat and joined the Republicans to support the legislation, it’s important that we let constituents know what their representatives have done.
Think of it as a constant, low drumbeat of pressure. Keep it up for long enough, and it may have an effect.
One member of Congress who ought to be held in special contempt by his Democratic constituents is Mike Arcuri, who has the seat in the House of Representatives for the 24th District in upstate New York.
Michael Arcuri not only voted in favor of George W. Bush’s program of government spying against Americans – he led the effort to shove the FISA Amendments Act through the House of Representatives just 24 hours after the text of the bill was made available, before most members of Congress had the chance to read it, and with just one hour of debate. Thanks to Arcuri, opponents of the legislation had less than ten minutes – total – to express their concerns with the law.
Given that the FISA Amendments Act attacks the Constitution of the United States of America, wrecking the fourth amendment and the system of checks and balances, and blatantly disobeying the prohibition on ex post facto laws, having less than 10 minutes to express objections was not enough. It was a move to willfully preserve ignorance, and Congressman Arcuri made it possible.