In a few hours you will be asked to authorize continuation of the mass surveillance programs that collect private information about ordinary Americans without cause or warrant in violation of the Fourth Amendment. I implore you to oppose the extension of the relevant section of the PATRIOT Act and to oppose the disingenuously named FREEDOM Act, which would leave bulk collection programs essentially intact.
America stands at a crossroads that will determine our course far into the future, and we are told that we must choose between freedom or security. In many ways, that is a false choice—however, insofar as it is not, we must remain committed to the cause of liberty. It is our founding principle. As Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Malo periculosam libertatem quam quietam servitutem.” —I prefer perilous liberty rather than peaceful slavery. Freedom has never been the safest course, but it is the American way.
Fourteen years ago we were shocked and hurt by the enemies of freedom, and we reacted in part with hastily drafted and poorly debated legislation which betrayed that principle; for our forbears, ourselves, and our future generations: now is the time to correct our error. Do not allow this opportunity to pass. Do not let this be the moment historians will point to when they say, “This is when they surrendered their freedom.” You must stand against any extension of domestic spying and bulk data collection programs.
This letter originally was sent to my Senators, John McCain & Jeff Flake of Arizona, and a version was sent encouraging Senator Rand Paul to keep up the good work. Please contact your senators and tell them that who you call or text, who calls or texts you, and when, where and how often those calls occur is none of the government’s business unless they have probable cause and a warrant. The Senate is set to vote tomorrow, Sunday, May 31st. Find your senators’ contact info at senate.gov.