VCS Weekly Update: President Authorizes Spying on Americans

Veterans for Common Sense End-of-Year Fundraising Campaign

Goal: $20,000
Raised: $7,900
Pledged: $2,950

Almost halfway there! Help us meet our goal by December 31.

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December 22, 2005

Dear VCS Members and Supporters:

A political crisis is brewing in Washington, DC since the New York Times broke the news that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to wiretap the communications of American citizens on U.S. soil, in violation of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. According to The Times, up to several thousand people have had their emails and telephone calls intercepted since 2001.

The first casualty of the news was last week’s late vote on extension of the Patriot Act — according to many interviews, several Senators may have reconsidered their vote when the news broke that the administration was evading the law to monitor the communications of Americans. Some conservative columnists, such as George Will, have argued that the President has overreached executive powers, and yesterday morning we learned that a member of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court had resigned over the issue.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter has announced he will conduct hearings into the issue early in the new year. Veterans for Common Sense will continue to closely monitor this issue and alert you to changes.

Harvey Kaye, author of Thomas Paine and the Promise of America, writes in the VCS weblog on what he believes Thomas Paine would think of a Presidential violation of law. Read it and make your own comments at:

On January 26, Florida Veterans for Common Sense will sponsor an evening with Professor Kaye at the University of South Florida. This promises to be an interesting and educational event, and we recommend our members in Florida check it out (and, if you haven’t already, consider getting involved with the chapter)). Find out more online at:

Wrangling Over Defense Spending

Dianne M. Grassi wrote yesterday morning that the various add-ons to the Defense spending authorization (including provisions such as drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge) have little to do with national defense or the needs of the troops.

News on the Iraq War:


Some members of Iraq’s Sunni minority raised objections this week over early results from last Thursdays national elections in Iraq. As of now, current counting shows that the elections largely went to a coalition of religious Shiite parties, some of whom have ties to Iran.

Finally, I’d like to that those of you who have come forward and made a gift or pledge in our end-of-year fundraising campaign. We’re more than half-way to our $20,000 goal, but there’s only ten days left before the end of the year!

If you haven’t made a gift to VCS lately, please consider supporting our work with a donation today.

Don’t want to give online? You can call 202-558-4553 to give by credit card over the phone, or send a check to:

Veterans for Common Sense
1101 Pennsylvania Ave SE Suite 203
Washington, DC 20003-2229

Interested in writing for VCS?

Veterans for Common Sense is seeking interesting and hard-hitting original material for the web site. Are you a writer or interested in submitting materials? Editorial guidelines are located at:

On-Line Events Calendar

If you have an upcoming event, memorial service, or other event that may be of interest to other VCS members, please let us know. To post your event online today, visit:

As always, thanks for your support of Veterans for Common Sense.

With highest regards,

Charles Sheehan-Miles
Executive Director


Veterans for Common Sense
1101 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

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