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WBBM 780 Radio: Wiretap Vote Worries Muslim Americans (AUDIO)

By Bernie Tafoya Reporting

http://www.wbbm780.com/pages/795272.php?contentType=4&contentId=786311

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There’s criticism today from an American-Islamic group of the way a couple of Illinois Democrats voted in Congress last week on President Bush’s proposal to allow the federal government to more easily wiretap phone calls and e-mails without a judge’s warrant.

WBBM’s Bernie Tafoya has the story.

The two Illinois Democrats are 3rd District Congressman Dan Lipinski and 8th District Congresswoman Melissa Bean.

Ahmed Rehab, executive director of the Chicago chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, was surprised and disappointed with the Lipinski and Bean votes.

Rehab says he’s especially surprised and disappointed in Lipinski “who comes from district that has a lot of Arab and Muslim citizens who may be hurt by this policy being used overzealously.”

Dave McGuire of the Washington-based Center for Democracy and Technology says the Bush administration raised a real concern regarding intercepting foreign communications but that the legislation went too far.

He says some members of Congress may have believed they “had to vote for it since no other alternative was presented.” He says they may have figured it was better to vote for a “bad” anti-terrorism bill than for “no” anti-terrorism bill.

Ahmed Rehab says “Wiretapping I can understand. What I don’t understand is the warrantless”.

He says there’ll be a push in Congress next month to change the law.

Neither Cong. Lipinski nor Cong. Bean responded to requests for interviews.

Dave McGuire of CDT says the law “throws Americans living in U.S. open to the potential of being caught in investigative dragnet with no judicial oversight.”

© 2007 WBBM 780 Radio

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