2007-08-17 / Letters

Taking Duplicity To New Heights

Dear Editor,

Dear Editor,

On Saturday, the U.S. Congress passed the new Surveillance Bill to better protect America and proactively interdict terrorist planning. Regrettably, Rockaway's representatives voted against the bill.

The bill was an '07 revision to the 1978 FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act). In those times, a democratic Congress and President punished U.S. intelligence agencies and set in place obstructions between the CIA and FBI. Today, the current surveillance bill seeks to "connect the dots." Specifically, the bill allows the National Security Agency (the NSA) to monitor phone calls of foreign terrorist targets that intelligence believes to be threat risks. Monitored communications to these identified terrorist targets may come from outside the U.S., or those calls may come from inside the U.S.

Rockaway's representatives take duplicity to higher levels. In press conferences and newspaper headlines they set their eyes, cock their jaws and profess steadfastness in this world clash between freedom and terrorism, but - in the capitol's cloakrooms - they vote down the very 21st century tools we need to defeat fanatics.

A majority of U.S. Representatives, both Democrats and Republicans, voted for this Surveillance Bill. Congressmen Weiner and Meeks did not.

Times change, but the issues don't. Our only four-term President and also our 16th - The Great Emancipator - likewise faced unprecedented attacks on U.S. soil and did what they had to do to protect America and defeat our enemies. There's no doubt Presidents Roosevelt and Lincoln took our sacrosanct human rights standards down a notch in the eye of the storms they faced, but we are forever in their great debt. Congressmen Weiner and Meeks seem - to my eyes, anyway - blinded by salacious partisanship and blinded to the nation's history and our current threat.

Hopefully, the next time these two men are under the lights, maybe an intrepid reporter will ask them to explain this vote....but I doubt it.

PETE STUBBEN

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