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Posted at 03:47 PM on Thursday, February 21, 2008 by post8560WASHINGTON, Feb. 21, 2008--The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is urging House leadership to adopt the Senate version of the Protect America Act to safeguard Americans from future terrorist attacks and to protect third parties from frivolous lawsuits.
"The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from illegal search and seizures, but to allow a terrorist to sue a phone company because his phone records were turned over is just plain stupid politics," said VFW National Commander George Lisicki.
"These people kill without conscience, represent no country, and have no agenda other than the total destruction of our country," said, a Vietnam combat veteran from Carteret, N.J. "Holding vital legislation hostage in order to give terrorists the right to sue for privacy violations is asinine."
President Bush signed the Protect America Act into law last year to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. FISA was originally passed to define domestic intelligence activities, but after Sept. 11, 2001, it was amended to include terrorist groups, and the procedures by which physical and electronic surveillance was conducted and collected within the U.S. and overseas. Due to a built-in sunset clause, the Protect America Act expired on Sunday, despite the Senate's passage of an updated version Feb. 12. A House attempt to push through a three-week extension failed. The sticking point is the Senate version includes telecom immunity provisions.
"The thought of granting the right to sue to non-Americans who continue to plan mass murder is disgusting," said Lisicki, who lives in northern New Jersey, just a few miles from Ground Zero. "American telecommunications companies who voluntarily cooperate with the U.S. government must be protected from frivolous lawsuits."
Lisicki is now calling upon all VFW members to contact their representatives to pass the Senate version of the Protect America Act. "Terrorists have no privacy rights, as it relates to the aiding and abetting of future attacks," he stressed. "We need put an end to this lunacy and get back to the business of safeguarding America."
Click to contact a House member.