Democracy for America Sends a Message to Senators Clinton and Obama

DFA Runs Major Ad in New York Times on Telecom Immunity

Burlington, VT

Democracy for America, our nation's largest progressive political action organization, will place a full-page ad in the Monday, January 28 edition of the New York Times. The ad calls on Senators Clinton and Obama to show true leadership and fight retroactive immunity for the telecommunications companies who participated in President Bush's warrantless wiretapping program. Currently, the Senate is considering unprecedented legislation that would grant the Bush administration a wide array of powers to spy on Americans.

"President Bush has done real damage to our Constitution and any legislation that grants retroactive immunity would make the United States Congress and the American people complicit in his illegal activities," said Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America. "Senators Clinton and Obama and the senators who have endorsed their presidential campaigns are key to holding the Bush administration accountable for their actions."

The ad makes clear that this is the last chance for the American people to discover the extent to which the Bush administration violated the Constitution by pressuring telecommunications companies to spy on American citizens without warrants, due process, or probable cause. Senators Clinton and Obama now have the opportunity to show the leadership we need in any future president. Twelve Democratic senators voted for cloture on yesterday's Judiciary Committee amendment to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that did not include retroactive immunity. The cloture vote was successful by a margin of 60 to 36. Of these twelve senators, seven have endorsed either Senator Clinton or Obama. If these presidential hopefuls bring along the support of these senators, they can sustain a planned filibuster, defeat any cloture vote, and demonstrate that they have the integrity, vision, and judgment to be president.

"Americans recognize that we live in dangerous times, but we cannot sacrifice our liberty and our freedoms every time the President says the sky is falling," said Arshad Hasan, Exceutive Director of Democracy for America. "I was born and raised in North Dakota and I said the Pledge of Allegiance everyday and I believe in it; especially, that we live in a country with liberty and justice for all. We expect Senators Clinton and Obama to stand up for these bedrock American principles."


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