I received an email today from Senator Saxby Chambliss, and I’m posting both his communication and my own.
Dear Ms. N: Thank you for contacting me regarding the National Security Agency’s (NSA) monitoring of conversations connected to terrorist activity and the treatment of military detainees. It is good to hear from you.
I certainly understand your concerns regarding personal freedoms. We are blessed to live in a free and effective democracy, and, just like you, I hold dear the personal freedoms that are provided to each and every law-abiding American.
As you know, the world changed on September 11, 2001. In the weeks following the catastrophic and murderous attacks on our nation, President Bush authorized the NSA to intercept certain international communications into and out of the United States from persons known to have links to terrorist organizations. As it has been publicly discussed, the purpose of the monitoring program is to prevent another attack on our country. This program is effective and the terrorist plots that have been foiled demonstrate that it is vitally important for the President of the United States to have the power and authority to act on information to protect the American people.
With respect to military detainees captured by the United States, they should be treated humanely and in a manner that honors our agreement under the Geneva Conventions. On October 17, 2006, President Bush signed into law (P.L. 109-366) a bill that outlines the treatment of our military detainees and our interrogation program. This law will further underscore to other countries that the United States will treat its detainees properly and justly.
As always, I appreciate hearing from you.
(Yada yada yada, I’m so sure he appreciates hearing from me.)
So here is my response. I am almost completely certain that such correspondence has no impact on Senator Chambliss whatsoever, but perhaps his staff draws some kind of statistical trend reports for purposes of future elections.
I’m not the only Georgian who wonders why Mr. Chambliss continues to puppet the lies of this administration.
Dear Senator Chambliss:
The NSA monitoring of conversations and email has gone beyond the bounds of what you describe in this correspondence. I am quite sure that you are aware of that.
How can you try to say that you hold dear our freedoms and the values of our democracy when you continue to support the unethical and anti-American actions of this President and Vice-President?
Stop using 9/11 as the “second Pearl Harbor.” With policies such as surveillance of American citizens, retroactive immunity laws, the expansion of executive power, and the torture and mistreatment of prisoners of all kinds – both here and abroad – you have undermined the values of the United States of America.
In this respect, the 9/11 attack couldn’t have been more successful as an act of terrorism; this administration, with your full support, has used it to betray what we should have been standing up for – our freedoms, our democracy, our rights as Americans. You, sir, are allowing that act to succeed in changing the very fabric of our nation.
You say we are “blessed to live in a free and effective democracy.” What remains of this “blessing” – a state of affairs hard-earned in blood and vigilance – is systematically being dismantled, and you contribute to this! Your oblique reference to God does not move me; I cannot imagine how you think God would approve of rampant greed and corruption, deceit, theft, torture, war profiteering, or throwing away the very aspects of American democracy that used to give hope to so many people here and abroad.
Senator Chambliss, after 9/11, we had the sympathy and support of most of the world – think for a moment about how we have thrown that away. Think for a moment about how a truly effective counter-terrorism policy might have reduced terrorism, rather than exponentially increasing it as this administration has done with its harmful policies and actions.
America currently disregards international and domestic laws and agreements on a level that I would never have thought possible. We have even aggressively invaded another country that had not attacked us – a deep violation of our own principles, and of the U.N. agreements for member countries.
You claim that the NSA program has foiled terrorist plots. Would you care to name a few? Can you show me someone that has been lawfully convicted on the basis of this (unconstitutional) activity?
The statement that we treat prisoners (whether at Gitmo, or in Iraq or Afghanistan – or in the countries we ship them out to for torture) in a manner that is in accordance with international law and treaty is so laughable that I am quite frankly amazed that you would still continue to make this claim.
Mr. Chambliss, I have contacted you about many issues, and although I know that your email responses are simply cut and pasted from form letters written by others, I still ask you to hold yourself accountable for the misleading statements being made in them.
Sir, your role in the Senate is to represent the interests – and the laws – of the people of Georgia and of this nation. When will you begin to take your job more seriously?
Senator, I plead with you. Revisit some of these important issues. The future of America is at stake.
These are real problems, and the way they have been handled so far will have lasting repercussions.
Won’t you begin to be part of solving these problems rather than making them even worse with your denials and your continued support of every whim of this secretive and dangerous administration?
(it’s “Dr. N.” to you, Senator)