Fortenberry Endorses More Hearings on Bush's Spyingby Kyle Michaelis
In an instance of fortuitous timing, I'd like to share the following letter that I received today from Republican Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (NE - 1st Dist.). In it, Fortenberry quite plainly endorses continued investigation of the Bush Administration's domestic spying program. The words are all his. I just added the emphasis for any letter writers who might be looking for a quote.
Dear Mr. Michaelis:
Thank you for your recent letter regarding national security and the protection of America's civil liberties. I appreciate receiving your comments on this important matter.
Americans are passionate about the freedoms which make our country unique and, at the same time, Congress has the fundamental duty to provide for the common defense. It is central to both our security and our liberty that we carefully consider how to maintain the delicate balance between national security and civil liberties.
President George W. Bush recently acknowledged that he had authorized the Nation Securtiy Agency to monitor e-mails and telephone calls into the United States originated by individuals overseas with suspected terrorist links. The Administration has defednded this practice as a legitimate use of the President's inherent constitutional authority as Commander in Chief.
The Senate Judiciary Committee has recently conducted hearings to review the surveillance program, as well as the President's authority to authorize such a program. More Congressional hearings are necessary to ensure that the delicate balance between our national security procedures and our citizen's privacy rights are maintained.
Once again, thank you for contact me with your concerns. I look forward to maintainting an open dialgue with you in the future.
Member of Congress
Thank you for the response, Congressman Fortenberry. Be assured our open dialogue will most definitely continue.
Of course, Fortenberry's not-particularly-enthusiastic support for this investigation was reported in January. It's good to see that he's at least standing by his word so far.
If sincere in sharing our concerns and not just paying lip service, I hope Fortenberry will speak to his colleague, Sen. Chuck Hagel, joining us in our call for the Senate Intelligence Committee on which he sits to do its job, defending the integrity of the U.S. Constitution and the interests of the American public.