So, I hooked up with some cats who think that FISA is wack and as I happen to agree, I penned the below and offered it to them. In the expectation that this is the sole place it will ever be published, I present to you:
In the hope that we can tweak the President's adherence to his first, last and sole responsibility, I might introduce our ask like this:
Dear President Obama,
On a bright and cold day from earlier this year, 'round the world was heard a man to utter this oath:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Was that man you? Our ask is not impudent. We ask because our Constitution was written to constrain executive power - not to expand it; it was written to ensure that the people retained as much of our Natural Rights as were granted to us by the very presence of Life itself - and to reserve to government solely those rights as needed to ensure - as our Constitution describes our work in forming "a more perfect union"; to:
". . . establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity[.]"
You sir, as someone who has spent many years teaching the meaning, the core concepts that guided the development of the document that defines our very Republic, know far better than most how central the idea of restrained and contained Executive authority is to our Republic; and as such you know full well the scope of the crime that was foisted upon our Republic by the passage of that Orwellian-named USA PATRIOT Act. No, with your history you need not citizens such as us to remind you of either the Tenth Amendment - and its closing clause - or even of the Ninth Amendment and its import to our Republic, along with every other word contained within our Constitution; words are the means to meaning and you have this knowledge already within you. With this knowledge and with your words across the long campaign season of 2007 and 2008 and with your actions as President of these United States - you know full well that the time to change our errant Path has come.
And with that, we ask of you the following:
- begin now, work on repealing the USA PATRIOT Act;
- task your legislative director with drafting language that will restore to us our Fourth Amendment protections and end the fallacy that presumes merely because communication is electronic, it has naught the power of these words -
"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."
- explain to the public, the scale of the insanity that has taken ahold of our body politic and of our agents we have put forth to serve our nation now, in this new, "national security" era; an insanity that has engendered the fear that merely because communication is electronic in form rather than on paper that somehow the government is then gifted with the authority to rifle through personal communications, with naught but unsubstantiated allegation in hand;
- and finally, we ask that you prepare to announce your proposed legislation - including a summary of the text and a full discussion of the supporting rationale - during your first State of the Union Address next year.
Mr. President, when you step before both Houses of Congress, on that last Tuesday in January, we need you to commit to us that you did not merely recite the oath of office, but that you understood the meaning of the words you uttered. Mr. President, we need you to convince us of your intentions and that you are indeed committed to the faithful execution of your duties as President of the United States of America. Mr. President, you should not leave that platform before our assembled Congress on that night until you have spoken exhaustively on how - from the moment you awake each day and through to until you return back asleep each night, across every single day of your Presidency - you have done, intend to and will do: ". . . to the best of [your] ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Show your commitment to us by showing your commitment to upholding the Constitution that defines us as a Republic. Demonstrate your understanding of the principle that you cannot "save us" by acts that destroy the very fabric that unites us as a people.
Thank you, Mr. President. We are praying for your success and for the continued success of our nation. We make these prayers not at the expense of others but in concert with them, for we seek shared success with all of the children of the world, for we know that these political constructs are but comforting fictions and the Truth is that we are all one human Family. Mr. President, we hope you do wish as we do wish, that God continues to shed his grace on this nation we call, America and upon all of the Peoples of the world.
You have much work to do.
Godspeed, Mr. President.
The Assembled Citizens of the United States of America