VFW Urges Passage of Protect America Act

WASHINGTONThe Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is urging House leadership to adopt the Senate version of the Protect America Act to safeguard Americans from future terrorist attacks and to protect third parties from frivolous lawsuits.

“Americans are protected from illegal search and seizures by the Fourth Amendment, but critical legislation is now being delayed because some would extend these same constitutional protections to those who want to harm America,” said VFW National Commander George Lisicki.

“There are people who kill without conscience, who represent no country, and who have no agenda other than the total destruction of our country,” said Lisicki, a Vietnam combat veteran from Carteret, N.J. “These terrorists have no privacy rights, as it relates to the aiding and abetting of future attacks, and the thought of giving them the right to sue their phone company for a privacy violation is asinine.”

President Bush signed the Protect America Act into law last year to modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. FISA was originally passed to define domestic intelligence activities, but after Sept. 11, 2001, it was amended to include terrorist groups, and the procedures by which physical and electronic surveillance was conducted and collected within the U.S. and overseas. Due to a built-in sunset clause, the Protect America Act expired on Sunday, despite the Senate’s passage of an updated version Feb. 12. A House attempt to push through a three-week extension failed. The sticking point is the Senate version includes telecom immunity provisions.

“The thought of granting the right to sue to non-Americans who continue to plan mass murder is disgusting,” said Lisicki, who lives in northern New Jersey, just a few miles from Ground Zero. “American telecommunications companies who voluntarily cooperate with the U.S. government must be protected from frivolous lawsuits.”

Lisicki is now calling upon all VFW members to contact their representatives to pass the Senate version of the Protect America Act. ” he stressed. “We need put an end to this lunacy and get back to the business of safeguarding America.”

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