Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Response from Congressman Lewis

Last week I emailed my congressman back in Georgia. Alas, Mr. Lewis is man of the people, but a cautious man to say the least. Here it is


Dear Mr. Lopez:

Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about the controversial domestic eavesdropping program that was secretly authorized by President Bush after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. I appreciate your interest in this issue and am glad to have the benefit of your views.

I, too, am extremely troubled by the revelation that President Bush authorized secret domestic surveillance operations without warrants and beyond the authority of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). As you may know, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service issued a report in early January which concluded that the Administration’s justification for warrantless eavesdropping conflicts with existing law and hinges on questionable legal arguments, a conclusion that is shared by a number of notable Constitutional scholars.

I believe strongly that this matter deserves a thorough Congressional investigation, and if the Administration’s actions are found to be illegal, President Bush must bear the appropriate consequences. You may also be interested to know that in addition to calling for Congressional hearings, I, along with several of my House colleagues, have sent correspondence to the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Professional Responsibility requesting that they do an internal investigation into the role played by DOJ in the domestic surveillance program.

Make no mistake, terrorism is a serious threat and I believe that our government must do all that it can to protect our citizens from additional terrorist attacks, however I believe we can do so without abandoning the principles that have guided our nation for more than 200 years. The freedoms and protections guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights have made us the envy of the world. We must restore and protect those freedoms lest we forever change our system of government into something the framers of the Constitution tried desperately to avoid.

Again, thank you for taking the time to weigh in on this issue. I hope you will continue to contact me on issues of importance to you.


Sincerely,

John Lewis
Member of Congress

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