Spying on Americans is Repugnant to the Ideals of Freedom

December 24, 2005   Politics News
Contact: media@populistamerica.com

Los Angeles, CA – The Populist Party of America denounced the White House today in response to the recent revelation that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to eavesdrop, without warrants, the telephone calls and email messages of thousands of people, including U.S. Citizens, inside the United States over the past three years.

"The President is not above the law,” said Michael Boldin, co-founder of The Populist Party of America. “Yet, we have learned that the executive branch has refused to follow long-standing procedures which require a court order before spying on people inside the United States. The President has stated clearly that he will not rescind this NSA directive, which violates both the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) and the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."

"This action by the Executive Branch is clearly a usurpation of power, and an outright attempt to create precedent which will allow the President to continue violating the rights of American citizens with impunity. It is most certainly repugnant to our long-established ideals of freedom."

The Populist Party of America also rebuked the White House assertion that the 2002 "Authorization for Use of Military Force" resolution passed by Congress allowed the government to ignore the Fourth Amendment. "The President regularly states that his highest duty is to protect the American 'homeland,'" said Helen Schmidt, Populist Party co-founder. "It is true, that, as commander-in-chief, he has greater powers upon a declaration of war by Congress, which has yet to happen; but the entity that he swore to 'preserve, protect and defend' isn’t necessarily the homeland per se, but the U.S. Constitution itself."

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Michael Boldin
The Populist Party of America
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