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Thread: White House win on FISA

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default White House win on FISA

    The House passed a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s electronic surveillance laws on Friday, breaking a months-long deadlock on the controversial issue.

    The update to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act passed 293 to 129.
    The centerpiece of the bill is a provision that allows for a federal district court to review the legal justifications for granting immunity to the telecommunications companies who aided the government in the wiretapping program implemented after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
    With the telecom companies facing almost 40 lawsuits for participating in the program, the issue of granting retroactive immunity became the major sticking point in the ongoing negotiations

    The most sweeping rewrite of the nation’s intelligence laws in 30 years, the measure also requires an inspector general review of the FISA program and calls for the program to sunset in 2012, which Democrats hailed as important improvements to existing legislation.

    128 Democrats voted against the measure, as many liberal Democrats said the court review of the immunity provision did not go far enough to hold the telecom companies accountable.

    Led by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Democrats spent over four months negotiating the bill with the White House and their GOP counterparts.

    Earlier in the day, President Bush praised the measure, saying the legislation will "allow our intelligence professionals to quickly and effectively monitor the plans of terrorists abroad while protecting the liberties of Americans here at home."


    The Senate is expected to easily pass the bill next week, however, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and other Senate Democrats have indicated they will likely not support the measure because of concerns over the immunity provisions.

    Hoyer acknowledged in "an ideal world" the bill would have been different, however he praised the bill for implementing "critical new oversight and accountability requirements" for the program and for providing measures to ensure that Congress will be able to closely monitor the program.

    “In our legislative process no one gets everything he or she wants,” said Hoyer. “Each side gives and takes...I believe we have the best bill before us that we could possibly get in the current environment."
    Republicans also hailed the compromise, as House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said the bill; “accomplishes the goals of the intelligence community…. while adding new protections and strengthening the individual liberties and privacy protections of Americans.”

    Speaking on the House floor shortly before the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) acknowledged the opposition to the measure from some members of her caucus, saying the vote on the bill was “a difficult decision for all of us.”

    Like Hoyer, Pelosi acknowledged that the bill was not perfect, but said the measure was “certainly preferable to the alternative” and indicated she would support it.

    However, the compromise did not sit well with some liberal Democrats, who viewed the FISA fight as a chance to stand up to a Bush administration which they feel is still using the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks as a justification for rolling back civil liberties.

    “Let me remind you, that July 4, 1776 was pre 9/11,” said Rep Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) who indicated he would not support the bill because it infringed on Americans civil liberties.

    “Heaven help us if those values were shucked aside in fear.”

    The Crypt: House passes FISA update - Politico.com

    A lot of people voted for dems in 2006, hoping they would stand up to things like this......
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Could we change the title to something like "Useless Dems roll over and take it up the ass for FISA?"
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    But of course if the dems win this election they will grow balls and change every fucking vote they've had in the past 8 years...that's what they'd like us to believe


    Are there really any fools that buy that nonsense?
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  4. #4
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Seems Obama's for it.. not even in office and already a vast disappointment. Some change.

    "Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. There is also little doubt that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, has abused that authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders.

    "That is why last year I opposed the so-called Protect America Act, which expanded the surveillance powers of the government without sufficient independent oversight to protect the privacy and civil liberties of innocent Americans. I have also opposed the granting of retroactive immunity to those who were allegedly complicit in acts of illegal spying in the past.

    "After months of negotiation, the House today passed a compromise that, while far from perfect, is a marked improvement over last year's Protect America Act.

    "Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance – making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses. But this compromise guarantees a thorough review by the Inspectors General of our national security agencies to determine what took place in the past, and ensures that there will be accountability going forward. By demanding oversight and accountability, a grassroots movement of Americans has helped yield a bill that is far better than the Protect America Act.

    "It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people."
    Yeah, just vote for it and THEN we'll try to get all the fascist shit taken out of it.. right. That'll happen.

    EPIC FAIL.

    That is, unless he is giving himself cover by saying he supports the less-than-perfect compromise, yet he wants to strip it of immunity, which would effectively doom the bill to be vetoed by Bush, since he has vowed to veto any bill without immunity.....so Obama can say that he was for compromise, yet Bush was the one who killed it.

    I'm probably being too optimistic though.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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