Jim Himes on the Protect America Act

This is a great statement from Jim Himes, challenger in the CT-04 race against Chris Shays. Via email:

“I am very proud of the leadership shown by Democrats yesterday in opposing retroactive immunity for telecommunications companies who may have illegally spied on American citizens without a warrant at the Bush Administration’s request. No person or corporation should ever be above the law. Whether these companies broke the law is a matter for the courts to decide, not for Congress, and certainly not for President Bush.

“I’ve never been more proud to be a constituent of Chris Dodd, who has led on this important fight for months in the Senate. I am also proud of so many of our party’s leaders – including Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Democratic Caucus Vice Chair John Larson – who stood up for the Constitution yesterday.

“Congress needs to focus on protecting our nation from the serious threats that exist by passing a modernized FISA law that will give our intelligence professionals all the tools they need to effectively fight terrorism. Members of both parties in the House must refuse to play along with the same tired politics of fear and false choices that are still being offered by this president and his allies like Chris Shays.” [Emphasis added]

Himes shows that he has a crystal-clear understanding of why Congress must stand up for the rule of law in this fight. He also is showing that he knows where the fight is and what the terms of the fight are. This is reassuring on the one hand – he’s not a politician and he’s showing real aptitude. On the other hand, it’s depressing that there weren’t more Democrats in the Senate demonstrating this level of moral and political acumen.

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