30 January 2008

Why FISA matters

Senator Russ Feingold explains it simply and clearly.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was put into place by Congress in the 70s to prevent our own government from listening in on our phone calls without a darned good reason -- and a court warrant backing it up.

The Protect America Act, put into place late last summer, changed FISA to allow our own government to listen in, without a warrant, whenever we make or receive calls overseas or basically, whenever it wants to. In addition, an addendum to the act will pardon a whole bunch of telecom companies who have already turned our call records over to the government -- while it was illegal.

Yesterday, the House voted to extend the Protect America Act for another 15 days so that the President and Republicans can find a way to make this shamelessly illegal. police state activity both legal and permanent and keep Democrats from stopping them. The legislation goes to the Senate today.


Larry Jones said...

Nobody's saying this publicly, but I think retroactive amnesty for the telecoms is important to Bushco because if that stuff gets investigated, the trail leads back to the administration, at least as high as Cheney, maybe to Bush himself. Evidently the Dems don't want to impeach, but maybe they will prosecute after next January. We can always hope, eh?

Wren said...

That's exactly the reason they're trying to get the legislation passed with the amnesty in place for the telecoms. I have my doubts that this Congress will prevent that; when push comes to shove, it seems that Bush&Co always get what they want, and to hell with the People or the law. And as for next January -- I'm afraid it will be way too late then to effectively prosecute the perps in this criminal administration. As Americans, we've become so mushy we'll just want to "move along" and "look forward, not back." *sigh* In the meantime, the damage is done ...