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Letter to the media:
Report on our loss of rights!

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Sample Letter to the Media: Ask candidates NOW how they will protect our freedoms

February 2, 2004

Dear Editors and Reporters:

I am calling to strongly request that you inform Americans of how our legal rights to our constitutional freedoms have changed. (see AP article). Federal actions since 9/11 have removed rights to privacy of our financial and medical records and email and phone communications, put limits on rights to a fair trial and access to a lawyer, removed customary judicial oversight and the need for probable cause, and allowed domestic spying on American citizens.

The latest thing you did not report on was the passage of part of Patriot Act II as a rider to the Intelligence Authorization Act – signed into law by President Bush on the day Saddam Hussein was captured. It allows the FBI to access anyone’s financial records – expanding this ability from banks and credit card companies, to casinos, jewelry companies, or other businesses. All this with no proof of wrongdoing or connection to terrorism, and no warrant - only a letter stating their request, which is also a gag order making it illegal for the business to inform the recipient. (See http://www.wired.com/news/privacy/0,1848,61792,00.html and http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_cr/h112203.html for the dismayed comments of our congressmen about the bill.

It is also imperative that you explicitly question what action the Democratic presidential candidates will take to uphold the Bill of Rights, should they become president. Will they repeal unconstitutional parts of the Patriot Act? Rescind FBI edicts allowing domestic spying on American citizens? Protect our privacy? What rights do they plan to protect, if any, and how will they restore basic American freedoms that the War on Terror is presumably guarding?

Please, ask the Democratic presidential candidates, TODAY, what exact actions they will take to restore the Bill of Rights and our constitutional freedoms. A list of some of the questions I would like to see asked is appended. Voters in the Democratic primaries on Feb. 3 deserve to know!

Sincerely,


QUESTIONS FOR CANDIDATES

Should you be elected President of the United States, will you commit to the following:

Will you repeal all unconstitutional parts of the USA PATRIOT Act?

Will you repeal the parts of Patriot Act 2 that were recently passed as part of the Intelligence Authorization Act, giving the FBI authorization to access a broad range of financial information on citizens, businesses, and organizations without a warrant or judicial oversight?

Will you re-establish boundaries between federal actions that are taken to protect Americans from terrorism, and ordinary criminal investigations?

Will you direct the FBI to cease wasting resources investigating dissenting groups which are unconnected to terrorist organizations, and refrain from keeping records on Americans who merely engage in First Amendment-protected freedom of speech in the form of protests?

Will you restore the right of Americans to privacy of their person and effects, as is guaranteed under the 4th amendment to the Constitution, and insure customary judicial oversight and the need for probable cause before it is violated?

Will you reinstate the right of all Americans to counsel, a fair and speedy trial, and to know the charges against them?

Will you break the connection currently being made between vandalism and other property simple crimes, and terrorism?

Will you guarantee that you will protect and uphold the Bill of Rights and the freedoms they guarantee, as you swear in your oath of office?