Back at the end of May, I sent a letter to my Senators and Congressman about the PATRIOT Act. I had asked them to vote against it as it violates the citizens Constitutional rights to privacy and due process. In response to this letter, Senator Inhofe sent me a pre-written form letter meant to “address” my concerns about the bill. Shortly after sending that letter, the US House and Senate passed the PATRIOT Act renewal by large margins and the President signed the extension into law. In response to that event, I wrote again to my Senators and Congressman explaining because they voted for the renewal, I was going to vote against them and actively oppose them in coming elections.
Unfortunately, it looks like Senator Inhofe is incapable of reading. He completely blew off the meat of my letter and instead decided to focus on a key word search of the PATRIOT Act and resent the exact same form letter with the following paragraphs tacked on the end to address recent events involving Senator Rand Paul and his proposed amendments:
Senator Paul introduced S.A. 363, which would have disallowed the Department of Justice (DOJ) from using Patriot Act authority, and thus the FISA Court, to obtain records on firearm purchases by individuals reasonably suspected to be engaged in terrorist activities. The DOJ needs to be able to utilize the Patriot Act and the FISA process to retain secrecy in all elements of their investigation, and creating a carve-out for firearm records would endanger that secrecy.
Furthermore, because the standard warrant request procedures requires a direct tie to criminal activity, which is something that is not always part of a counter-intelligence or terrorism investigation, necessary information may be unattainable through such a process. If the DOJ is able to prove that the information sought is related to international terrorism, they should be able to obtain firearms records in the same FISA process so as not to jeopardize secrecy. There are enhanced protections that are put in place for obtaining firearms records, such as requiring that the FBI Director or one of two other high-ranking officials sign off on the warrant request. And at all times, a FISA judge will assess the relevance of the information being sought before issuing a warrant. There have been no reports that this law has ever been used to harass law-abiding gun owners.
Now, I have no problems with sending form letters when you get similar requests on a regular basis. What I do have a problem with is sending a form letter that has absolutely zero to do with what you are responding to.
If Senator Inhofe is so disconnected with his constituency that he cannot even send form letters out that actually address the issue he is responding to, how can we trust him to make decisions that will actually benefit the people he is supposed to represent?
So it is completely clear to me that he does not want to retain his Senate seat. He would much rather focus his efforts on pandering to the fears of the people that wouldn’t actually exist if it weren’t for the decisions made by the US Government in the wake of 9/11
In the end, I must say, “Senator Inhofe, you are fired.”