Highest Rated Comments

boldprogressives282 karma

One thing PCCC has been doing is fundraising for Edward Snowden's legal defense fund. Recall that Snowden has unveiled the scope of spying not only on Americans but on foreign citizens as well. You can donate here: http://pccc.me/13LjkAX

boldprogressives131 karma

We're defending Snowden because he did the right thing -- and if he's demonized in the public sphere, it may harm the entire cause. But PCCC in the coming weeks is going to be heavily engaged on the larger issue of indiscriminate government spying, and continue to demand that Congress investigate, share its results with the public, and then take action to change the law.

boldprogressives65 karma

Right now, there is a culture on Capitol Hill where many Members think their only vulnerability on this issue is that they aren't supportive enough of overly broad government spying programs. By mobilizing, we can change that culture and let politicians know that there is actually a vulnerability to violating our basic freedom to privacy and other freedoms related to civil liberties. We saw Congress fall back during the SOPA/PIPA fight.

Also, I want to share a personal story. I once attended a meeting of for-profit college lobbyists. They had brought in Doug Sosnik, who was an advisor to President Clinton and also worked on Kerry's presidential campaign. Sosnik explained that he had worked for the MPAA and they thought they totally owned the issue of SOPA/PIPA and would win because they had Washington's lobbyists all on their side. Then he bluntly said they were "roadkill" because they didn't think about people outside of Washington. They didn't realize they would protest and wake up and work really hard to stop the legislation.

Washington's special interests -- in this case the military-industrial-intelligence-contractor complex -- are very powerful, but when ordinary people get into the game in huge numbers, they can lose. They WANT you to think you don't have any power. That's the way they win.

boldprogressives35 karma

We've already seen Members of Congress from both parties step up to take on this issue -- buoyed by the public outpouring of outrage and action.

One example, within less than a week of the news breaking, we had legislation from Rand Paul that would limit the scope of government spying, and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley got bipartisan support -- from Republican Sens. Heller and Lee -- for a bill that would make FISA court holdings public so we finally know more about the scope of the secret law governing spying.

EDIT: I also want to add that there will be a defense appropriations bill up for a vote next week and an intel bill in a few weeks -- getting a critical mass especially for a House vote on great legislation from folks like Alan Grayson, Justin Amash, and John Conyers makes it a very winnable goal.