David Lee (CC-BY)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein is chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee and one of the National Security Agency’s biggest champions in government. She is also one of the targets of Tuesday’s day of action, “The Day We Fight Back.”

The activists’ website uses a simple form to connect those opposed to the NSA’s mass surveillance program to their representatives in congress. Type in your phone number, enter your ZIP code, and you get a script to read to your senators and representative in the House. If you live in California, as the largest plurality of Americans do, then you get connected to Sen. Dianne Feinstein and would be asking her to vote against her own bill, the FISA Improvements Act, which would counterintuitively legalize the surveillance program.

Trying to reach Feinstein’s Washington, D.C., office, I got a recorded message from the senator warning that the lines were busy and while I was welcome to hold I might be disconnected. This was not true of her colleague, Sen. Barbara Boxer, whose voice mail system was taking messages, or my congressman, who had a staffer answer the phone.

I tried Feinstein’s home office in San Francisco, where someone did pick up. I told her I’d like the senator to oppose her own bill. The staffer said she would pass on the message. When I asked her if it had been busy, she laughed and said, “yes, very.”

Both of California’s senators are Democrats, but Feinstein has tilted to the right of her colleague Boxer, appealing to the state’s more conservative interior. She came into office with Bill Clinton in 1992, and has been rising through the ranks ever since.

As chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein was one of the few people who actually knew what the NSA was up to, and she has staunchly defended the majority of the program, calling whistle-blower Edward Snowden a traitor. The one exception: Feinstein said she had no idea the U.S. was spying on world leaders and condemned the practice.

If you would like to call the senator and discuss these issues with her staff, you may do so at the following numbers:

Washington, D.C. Phone: (202) 224-3841 Fax: (202) 228-3954

San Francisco Phone: (415) 393-0707 Fax: (415) 393-0710

Los Angeles Phone: (310) 914-7300 Fax: (310) 914-7318

San Diego Phone: (619) 231-9712 Fax: (619) 231-1108

Fresno Phone: (559) 485-7430 Fax: (559) 485-9689

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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