Friday, March 03, 2006

From the Desk of...Senator Mike Dewine

Either in late December or early January, I emailed Senators Mike Dewine and George Voinovich. I wrote them, very politely, that I was not happy with George Bush's policies and actions. I think this was just after the spying scandal broke out and I was actually indignant enough to plop down on my butt and shoot off an email to my United States Senators. (Whew! What an effort.)

I really wish I had kept the email I sent them, but I didn't expect a reply from either one of them other than the auto-response I had already received and I just deleted what I sent. I think in addition to the wiretapping issue I wrote that I was not exactly a happy citizen about, oh, the War in Iraq, the poor handling of Hurricane Katrina crisis, and King George's refusal to abide by the Constitution and his approval of Patriot Act abuse. I'm pretty sure I threw in something about the Plame Affair as well (picture me shaking the naughty finger in the general direction of D.C. at Karl Rove and Dick Cheney). My request was that both senators support the effort to have George W. Bush impeached and Dick too. (Yeah, I know, fat chance.)

Well it took a month or so but I actually receieved a not-so-auto-response from Senator Mike Dewine. Here's what it said. I'll deconstruct it tomorrow, but right now, I'm just content to copy/ paste the text exactly the way it appeared in my inbox:

March 2, 2006

Dear Deborah:

Thank you for contacting me. As you know, following the attacks of
September 11, 2001, President George W. Bush authorized the National
Security Agency (NSA) to begin monitoring international phone calls in
which one party is in the United States and one party is a member, or
suspected member, of a terrorist organization. In a time of national
emergency, I expect the President to take such actions to protect our
Nation, even if those actions are not specifically authorized by
Public and congressional awareness of the program now has caused a
deal of debate and has sparked a series of hearings in the Senate
Judiciary Committee and briefings in the Senate Intelligence Committee;
am a member of both committees and have participated fully in these
hearings and briefings.

There are legal and constitutional questions about whether the
must, after a period of time, come to Congress for statutory
of the NSA program. Certainly the country and the President would be
stronger with such authorization. I believe that statutory
and congressional oversight for this program would avoid a divisive
in Congress and throughout the Nation. That is why I am drafting
legislation that would authorize the surveillance of terrorist
communication, but would also ensure substantial congressional

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please feel free to contact me
anytime with additional questions or concerns.

Very respectfully yours,
United States Senator


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