Monday, March 06, 2006

Roots Project: NSA Surveillance Hearings Campaign Update

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Originally posted: Monday March 6, 10:46 am PT. Last Updated: 2:55 pm PT

The Intelligence Committee hearing will begin at 2:30 pm ET Tuesday March 7.

Here’s an update on how our NSA Surveillance/Senate Intelligence Committee campaign is doing:

IMPORTANT: It’s still unclear how Senator Snowe intends to vote tomorrow. Some readers have reported (and Glenn Greenwald has duly passed along their reports) that Snowe’s office says she will vote FOR hearings. But as of the time of this posting, her office has told me she has issued NO STATEMENT one way or the other. I don’t know whether this is a miscommunication within her office or whether she’s backsliding, but it’s not good news.

At this point, therefore, I’m continuing to list both Snowe and Hagel as UNDECIDED on the question of whether the Intelligence Committee should hold hearings into the NSA surveillance. I have left voice messages for both senators’ communications directors and will let you know as soon as I have updated information. Meanwhile, keep up the phone calls, emails and faxes.

In other news:

Rockefeller’s office forwarded a copy of Reid’s press release to me over the weekend, via Blackberry -- so they’re not only on top of the situation, but using newly-licensed proprietary technology to do it!

Glenn Greenwald has another excellent post on the topic.

Ethan Heitner at has picked up the battle cry, as has eriposte at The Left Coaster.

And the current calling campaign (with VichyDems riding Glenn’s coattails) even made the front page of Liberal Oasis today.

More updates as events warrant. Please keep working the Game Plan.

UPDATE, 11:40 AM PT: Thanks to Glenn Greenwald and his reader Ommzms, here's a link to a solid New York Times editorial today taking our side.

UPDATE, 12:12 PM PT: In case you don't think what we do makes a difference: in the last hour, this site has had visits from at least two people in Washington, D.C., one whose ISP is the U.S. Senate Sergeant at Arms (the Senate ISP) and who surfed over from Glenn Greenwald's most recent post on Frist's machinations, and one whose ISP is the Library of Congress Information Technology Service and who surfed over from 2:38 pm: Make that three: someone in D.C. whose ISP is the Administrator of the U.S. Courts, who surfed here from Glenn's. Yeah, I know, probably a bored District Court law clerk, but I prefer to think it's Sam Alito, quavering in his boots about the prospect of the People rising up.

We have the attention of people in government. That makes a difference. So please keep working!!

UPDATE, 2:55 PM PT: Snowe's and Hagel's office still are keeping mum on their positions. My best bet? Frist is close to pulling off an upset, with major pork heading to Maine and Nebraska if Snowe and Hagel play ball, and they're keeping their cards close.

And Sen. Rockefeller's office doesn't seem to have any better info than we do at this point; here's word I just received from them:

Wish I had some insight for you, but it’s really unclear what’s going to happen. My best guess is Republicans will come up with some alternative proposal for a review and that they’ll try and get Hagel and Snowe to vote for that version. It’s really up in the air at the moment.


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