Maria Cantwell: 888-648-7328
Patty Murray: 866-481-9186
For emails and more info.
Dear Senator Murray,
Thank you for your years of service to this experiment we call democracy. On Sunday, May 31, 2015, you have the opportunity to preserve our system self-governance for future generations by voting against the U.S.A. Freedom Act, and the renewal of the Patriot Act.
A select few are accumulating power at levels unprecedented in Earth’s history. This is being accomplished through the collection vast amounts of information on each one of us. Similar efforts in the past were extremely inefficient. In a country smaller than the state of Tennessee, the East German secret police required more than 100,000 officers and 170,000 spies to maintain order by causing the entire country to fear speaking out. They tapped thousands of telephones, drilled peepholes into people’s apartments, controlled the press, created profiles used to control people, and when that failed, they put political offenders into prisons.
The state of the available technology of the time, however, limited the power the information provided. As long as people had friends they could trust, friends that were unknown to the government as dissenters, they could speak freely. Without being able to cross reference telephone calls, text messages, emails, and travel, complete isolation of individuals and complete stifling of unorthodox views remained difficult.
Wait a minute, we do not live in the 20th century totalitarian state of East Germany, we live in 21st century America! But alas, democracies are also subject to the failings of human nature. Adolf Hitler was elected.
But that was long ago, we have advanced as a race since then. We are more discerning now. Unfortunately we have the recent and current examples of Mohammed Morsi, and Vladimir Putin, who shortly after being elected proceeded with the dismantling of divided government and the consequential consolidation of power into the hands of the few. Putin was given his power by the people, but he holds onto power by imprisoning and executing dissenters.
But we are America, a mature democracy! Maybe too mature. America has graduated to publicly executing its own citizens without a trial, based on the suspicions of a single decider in the executive branch. We believe we are mature enough to imprison people in Guantanamo indefinitely without a trial. We rely less on the judicial branch to assess probable cause for searches. With our new found maturity, we are quietly doing
away with the judicial branch.
But we have a third branch that can check and balance the executive. You as a senator were not consulted by the executive branch prior to the launch of mass surveillance. After the fact, when the Senate asked, the executive branch lied, and told you under oath “No,” it was not collecting “any type of data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” You are not privy now to what is being done with the information, or what will be done with the information after the next presidential election. It is primarily private corporations that collect the data, not the NSA. Edward Snowden worked for Dell, not the NSA. It is private companies like Motorola, not the NSA, that are providing the government threat scores for all of us (good, bad, or okay), based in part on electronic surveillance, through federally funded programs like Intrado Beware. You are not in charge.
Warrantless mass surveillance does not just violate the 4th Amendment warrant
requirement, it violates freedom of speech and freedom of electronic assembly. Warrantless mass surveillance is not wrong primarily because it violates privacy, it is wrong because it violates the security of a free people. Warrantless mass surveillance is wrong because it thwarts the people’s attempt at dividing the power of the government under the constitution. It is wrong because it puts vast amounts of power
into the hands of the few.
The Patriot Act expires on Sunday, May 31, at midnight. Let it die. Let America live.