By: Harry Waisbren
We have made a lot of ground on some of our final conceptions for our open letter to the president, both during our November 10th Patriot Act and FISA organizing call and through messages voiced to us through a variety of communications channels aggregated in the comments section of our last update.
We can use this post and its comments section to go through and discuss some of the broader changes and additions to consider as we take our final steps to edit and launch the letter:
Need for a crisp call to action
We have long been going over the need for a crisp call for action. On our last call, we decided on focusing on transparency from Obama and ending the back room deal making that have defined this debate since the beginning.
Our ask is simple: we want him to speak out about his position more clearly, and then act in accordance with it.
If he does this, then it removes the need for back room deals in the first place…
Broadening the scope
This was another topic broached on our last call in light of a desire to focus more on the larger principles behind the matter rather than on specific, more temporary legislation.
The Patriot Act and FISA are both aspects of a much larger debate about civil liberties in our society that has been going on since the founding of the country. Focusing on the broader issues at hand, such as the role of intelligence in our society, could be prudent.
Linda Young discussed the benefits of emphasizing working together and avoiding an overtly combative tone. This has long been considered a proof point for GFR, as both our original letter and his response were polite in nature, and clear aspirations towards a civil discourse have been cited as an instigator for his engagement with us.
However, this most definitely does not mean that we must restrict our passion or mask our disappointment. We must be frank and open about how we feel, especially since that is our primary ask from him.
Editing for length
Craig Nazor pointed out that we should edit this letter down to avoid any redundancy. This makes a lot of sense also in terms of being conscious of the length in order to maximize the chances for it to be read.
This project is collaborative by design, so please do let us know what you think (especially if you disagree with the broader changes discussed).
Our open letter has already reaped the rewards possible only through harnessing the power of a crowd, so keep it up!