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Statement by Bill Richardson Calling on Senate to Reject Wiretapping Immunity Bill

October 24, 2007

LOS ANGELES, CA-- New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Richardson today issued the following statement, calling for the United States Senate to stand up to President Bush and reject the proposed bill granting immunity to telephone companies that assisted the government in spying on Americans:

"Like most of his promises, President Bush's inauguration day pledge to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution has been folded away and forgotten. From torture to secret prisons and wiretapping, this administration systematically has stripped away or ignored many of the most basic rights and principles upon which this nation was founded.

"This unprecedented assault on American laws and values, cloaked falsely and irresponsibly in the guise of national security, must be stopped.

"Incredibly, the Senate stands on the verge of abetting another Presidential outrage by considering a bill that would grant immunity to telecommunications companies that admitted to assisting the government in spying on American citizens by disclosing personal information. This bill must not pass.

"We need strong leadership to prevent this latest injustice, not equivocation or political calculation. Senators Clinton and Obama say they will oppose the bill, but are leaving the door open to a potential compromise. There can be no compromise on personal rights and privacy. I urge my Democratic primary opponents, and every Senator, to stand up and state loudly and clearly -- without any equivocation -- that he or she will not pass any bill that grants retroactive immunity to companies that willingly aided the Bush administration in violating the law and spying on our own people.

"As President, I will follow the Constitution. America needs and deserves leadership that reflects and upholds our finest principles and traditions. We can have a secure America without trampling on the Constitution and personal freedoms. For now, though, we have President Bush. It is about time that the Senate stood up to him."

Bill Richardson, Statement by Bill Richardson Calling on Senate to Reject Wiretapping Immunity Bill Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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