Skip to comments.Cornyn to Obama: Stop With the Enemies Lists
Posted on 08/05/2009 12:43:15 PM PDT by Sub-Driver
Cornyn to Obama: Stop With the Enemies Lists
The White House call for people to inform on anyone spreading "disinformation about health insurance reform" didn't sit well with a lot of people -- Obama isn't running a political campaign anymore, he's supposed to be running the country (and in the event even those who spread video clips of the president making statements on health care reform that are now impolitic have been targeted by the White House). Texas Senator John Cornyn has written a letter to the president politely asking if he could please put an end to the creepiness:
I am not aware of any precedent for a President asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed fishy or otherwise inimical to the White Houses political interests, Sen. Cornyn wrote. You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights.
Read the full letter after the jump.
Dear President Obama,
I write to express my concern about a new White House program to monitor American citizens speech opposing your health care policies, and to seek your assurances that this program is being carried out in a manner consistent with the First Amendment and Americas tradition of free speech and public discourse.
Yesterday, in an official White House release entitled Facts are Stubborn Things, the White House Director of New Media, Macon Phillips, asserted that there was a lot of disinformation out there, and encouraged citizens to report fishy speech opposing your health care policies to the White House. Phillips specifically targeted private, unpublished, even casual speech, writing that rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Phillips wrote If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com.
I am not aware of any precedent for a President asking American citizens to report their fellow citizens to the White House for pure political speech that is deemed fishy or otherwise inimical to the White Houses political interests.
By requesting that citizens send fishy emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House. You should not be surprised that these actions taken by your White House staff raise the specter of a data collection program. As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights.
I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward emails critical of his policies to the White House. I suspect that you would have been leading the charge in condemning such a programand I would have been at your side denouncing such heavy-handed government action.
So I urge you to cease this program immediately. At the very least, I request that you detail to Congress and the public the protocols that your White House is following to purge the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and identities of citizens who are reported to have engaged in fishy speech. And I respectfully request an answer to the following:
· How do you intend to use the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and identities of citizens who are reported to have engaged in fishy speech?
· How do you intend to notify citizens who have been reported for fishy speech?
· What action do you intend to take against citizens who have been reported for engaging in fishy speech?
· Do your own past statements qualify as disinformation? For example, is it disinformation to note that in 2003 you said: I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan?
I look forward to your prompt response.
United States Senator
The media and press would be going nuts.
He's going around the country telling everyone they can keep their own doctor and their own private insurance, when the bill guarantees they won't be able to.
The entire leftist media would be freaking out!! Olberman, Crissy and crew would be wetting their pants. That's what.
Of course, since it is 0bama, it is just peachy with these morons.
We should also use this to demand to see the information that is collected:
(d) Access to Records. Each agency that maintains a system of records shall
I generally like Cornyn but sometimes he bugs me. Things like this show he’s got some balls but then he’ll turn around and support Specter over Toomey or do other McCain-like acts of political treason.
He seems like a good man overall. I just wish he’d be more predictably conservative.
That’s my senator! Go get him, Cornyn!
Excellent, thanks for the info, wonder why more of Congress are not doing the same
Does this remind anyone else of Nazi Germany, when neighbors and families would turn in each other.
Scary where this country has gone in just 6 months. We will not recognize it in another 3 1/2 years.
YES! Call them at every turn. Stop them immediately when they try their thug tactics. About time our elected ones stood up to these bullies. Cuz if they don’t, we WILL.
More like 1930's Germany or Stalinist Russia
This letter should be widely distributed.
I will be sending that on, every hour, to firstname.lastname@example.org
I think this is very significant. I also think sen. Cornyn’s response is dead-on and I hope it gets noticed (and that he does, too).
Where do you think they will build the gulags?
Somewhere between a high crime and a misdemeanor, dontcha think?
You are a rock star.
We are a country WITHOUT a President, what we have instead is a wannabe dictator.