Heath Shuler Channeling Bush’s Disinformation – Help Him Stop.


First – Please be aware that George W. Bush blocked a three-week extension of the Protect America Act. Shuler voted for the extension. Now Bush is telling us all that our nation is more at risk, and Shuler’s helping him. The truth, from Bush’s Intelligence Director, Mike McConnell:

NPR: Mr. McConnell, the Bush administration says that if the Protect America Act isn’t made permanent, it will tie your hands, intelligence hands, especially when it comes to new threats. But isn’t it true that any surveillance underway does not expire, even if this law isn’t renewed by tomorrow?

MCCONNELL: Well, Renee it’s a very complex issue. It’s true that some of the authorities would carry over to the period they were established for one year. That would put us into the August, September time-frame. However, that’s not the real issue. The issue is liability protection for the private sector.

smellslikebullshit.jpgHere’s what George W. Bush said:

“…the United States is in “more danger of attack” because Congress failed to extend legislation on domestic wiretapping laws allowing the government without a warrant to listen in on phone calls and intercept e-mails by foreign terrorist suspects that are transmitted through this country”

Heath Shuler is either intentionally perpetrating the lies of the Bush administration or gullibly buying them:

HT-N: “Our nation’s safety is too important to use for partisan gain,” Shuler said in the letter. “We must work together to ensure that our nation’s intelligence agencies are able to fulfill their missions, while also ensuring the protection of the civil liberties on which our nation was founded.”

One of the bespined Democrats who didn’t buckle to Bush said this about the type of rhetoric on display above:

“Several Democrats said yesterday that many in their party wish to take a more measured approach to terrorism issues, and they refused to be stampeded by Bush. “We have seen what happens when the president uses fearmongering to stampede Congress into making bad decisions,” said Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). “That’s why we went to war in Iraq.”

Here’s hoping Representative Shuler finds a way to the other side of this political chasm. He’s currently allied with Bush, his Republicans, and those who would spread lies about our nation’s safety in order to ramrod legal protection for Big Telecom companies down the throats of Americans.

Click here to let Congressman Shuler know that you don’t appreciate his fearmongering, his alliance with Bush, or his protection of Big Telecom companies rather than the Rule of Law.

More info on Telecom immunity, Shuler, and Bush here, here, and here.


  1. The issue is liability protection for the private sector.

    Read that, “protection for the administration.” Concern for the telecoms is another classic administration distraction.

    Telecom immunity means no discovery process in the EFF and other suits, doesn’t it? It means no investigation into what made John Ashcroft and top DOJ officials threaten to resign over the NSA’s wiretapping activities. Telecom lawsuits are the cartoon before the feature film, the prosecution of a “third-rate burglary” before the congressional investigations.

    No telecom immunity equals no CYA for the Bush administration. That’s the issue.

  2. Drama Queen says:

    I want protection for when someone in authority asks me to break a law and I do it.

  3. Doug Gibson says:

    What’s interesting to me is how our Congressman seems to be looking for some sort of compromise position. He voted for the RESTORE act – which didn’t include immunity. He signed the Blue Dog letter saying he’d prefer the Senate’s approach – which means immunity. Then he voted for the extension – which has to be seen as a pro-immunity vote. Now he’s calling on both Pelosi and Boehner not to adjourn until an agreement is reached, though the Times-News doesn’t say that he’s asking for any particular resolution. So is that pro- or anti-immunity? Pro, I guess, but just barely.

    So – is he planning on standing with the Blue Dogs on immunity, or is he laying down a paper trail so that when he votes against it he can show that national security was his top concern?

  4. Gordon Smith says:

    That would be superb, Doug. It’s important for him to have a face-saving out no matter what.

    If he gets on board with the Democrats and denying immunity, he can certainly push the security angle and be none the politically poorer for it.

  5. Gordon Smith says:

    Think Progress:

    “The Bush administration secretly conducted spying in violation of the Constitution and the law for four years before The New York Times disclosed it in 2005. For years, the White House lied about these activities to the American public. For example, in 2004, Bush claimed that “a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way.” At least one telco refused to comply with the Bush administration’s request because it knew the actions were illegal.

    Even now, the administration continues to lie about the consequences of the Protect America Act expiration. Just yesterday, Bush stated that it will now “be harder for our government to keep you safe from terrorist attack.” But as an expert from the Cato Institute admits, this statement isn’t true: “There’s no reason to think our nation will be in any more danger in 2008 than it was in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, or 2006.”

  6. Doug Gibson says:

    I see I said the 21-day PAA extension was a “pro-immunity” vote. I meant to say “anti-immunity.” The more we can run out the clock, the better.

  7. Doug Gibson says:

    If you’re interested in meeting with the staff Heath Shuler’s office and letting them know in person how the “active people” in his district feel about telecom immunity, I’ve set up an event on DFA-Link. Please go there and sign up. Right now the posted date and time are just placeholders: once there’s enough interest, we’ll set the meeting date with Rep. Shuler’s office.

  8. J Flenner says:

    Don’t forget this:
    Former Phone Chief Says Spy Agency Sought Surveillance Help Before 9/11

  9. Gordon Smith says:

    Done, Doug. I’m looking forward to it.