Greetings, patriots!  Many thanks to all of you who contacted your representatives in support of the Sanders-Otter-Conyers Amendment that would have restored legal standards and warrant procedures for investigations of libraries and bookstores which were in place before passage of the USA PATRIOT Act.  Unfortunately, due to a highly unusual procedural maneuver the amendment was excluded from consideration.  For more information on what happened, go to,1413,103%257E9054%257E1530442,00....  

Fortunately, we do have some good news to report!  Our representatives in Washington are starting to pay attention to the mounting concern and distaste among the American electorate with the USA PATRIOT Act and the infractions it creates on our civil liberties.  On Tuesday night, by a vote of 309-118, the House approved a bipartisan amendment offered by Congressman C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-ID), Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH) and Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) to withhold funding for "sneak-and-peek" searches under the USA PATRIOT Act.  The passage of the amendment marks the first time either chamber of Congress has acted to roll back any provision of the law.  The passage of the amendment by almost a three-to-one margin reflects a growing outrage over threats to constitutional free speech and due process rights imposed in haste in the fearful days after 9/11.  Thank you, Reps. Otter, Kucinich, and Paul, and the others who voted for this amendment!  

   In a joint statement, the representatives acknowledge that "American citizens, whom the government has pledged to protect from terrorist actions, now find themselves the victims of the very weapon designed to uproot their enemies. Being secure at the expense of our freedoms is no real security.  [Tuesday night], with passage of our amendment, we have begun the process of regaining the civil liberties that are the foundation of our nation."  

  For press coverage  of this historic vote, see the following stories:  

  Please consider contacting your representative to either thank them for voting for the Otter-Kucinich-Paul amendment, or, if they voted against it, contact them to express your dissatisfaction with their vote.  To find out how your representative voted, and to contact your rep for free, go to the "Thank or Spank" site maintained by the ACLU:  

  The House of Representatives begins its recess tonight.  The Senate is in session through next week.  The BORDC will send you another action alert when it's time to contact your Senator.  Stay tuned!  

Vanessa Bliss, Organizer
Bill of Rights Defense Committee 413-582-0110