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Posted by madfloridian in General Discussion: Presidential (Through Nov 2009)
Tue Jun 24th 2008, 12:13 PM
That is what this bill is about. It means giving more powers to spy. It is not just about immunity.

I wonder if they are using this immunity thing to lull us into not paying attention to just how bad the bill is?

Why are they doing this now? They figure we are all excited about our candidate and that we will stay on board no matter what they do.

House Approves Unconstitutional Surveillance Legislation

Tomorrow the Senate will approve it as well.

"It’s Christmas morning at the White House thanks to this vote. The House just wrapped up some expensive gifts for the administration and their buddies at the phone companies. Watching the House fall to scare tactics and political maneuvering is especially infuriating given the way it stood up to pressure from the president on this same issue just months ago. In March we thought the House leadership had finally grown a backbone by rejecting the Senate’s FISA bill. Now we know they will not stand up for the Constitution.

"No matter how often the opposition calls this bill a ‘compromise,’ it is not a meaningful compromise, except of our constitutional rights. The bill allows for mass, untargeted and unwarranted surveillance of all communications coming in to and out of the United States. The courts’ role is superficial at best, as the government can continue spying on our communications even after the FISA court has objected. Democratic leaders turned what should have been an easy FISA fix into the wholesale giveaway of our Fourth Amendment rights.

"More than two years after the president’s domestic spying was revealed in the pages of the New York Times, Congress’ fury and shock has dissipated to an obedient whimper.
After scrambling for years to cover their tracks, the phone companies and the administration are almost there. This immunity provision will effectively destroy Americans’ chance to have their deserved day in court and will kill any possibility of learning the extent of the administration’s lawless actions. The House should be ashamed of itself. The fate of the Fourth Amendment is now in the Senate’s hands. We can only hope senators will show more courage than their colleagues in the House."

For more information, go to:

More about the failings of the bill.

H.R. 6304, The FISA AMENDMENTS ACT of 2008

This is only a portion:

H.R.6304 contains an “exigent” circumstance loophole that thwarts the prior judicial review requirement. The bill permits the government to start a spying program and wait to go to court for up to 7 days every time “intelligence important to the national security of the US may be lost or not timely acquired.” By definition, court applications take time and will delay the collection of information. It is highly unlikely there is a situation where this exception doesn’t swallow the rule.

H.R. 6304 further trivializes court review by explicitly permitting the government to continue surveillance programs even if the application is denied by the court. The government has the authority to wiretap through the entire appeals process, and then keep and use whatever it gathered in the meantime.

• H.R. 6304 ensures the dismissal of all cases pending against the telecommunication companies that facilitated the warrantless wiretapping programs over the last 7 years. The test in the bill is not whether the government certifications were actually legal – only whether they were issued. Because it is public knowledge that they were, all the cases seeking to find out what these companies and the government did with our communications will be killed.

Members of Congress not on Judiciary or Intelligence Committees are NOT guaranteed access to reports from the Attorney General, Director of National Intelligence, and Inspector General.

Since last August 58 Democrats in the House switched their votes from NO to YES. That is a lot of Democrats.

Why did 58 Democrats flip on FISA from NO to YES since last year?

Not just a drip's a flood.

2007 total: 227 aye - 183 no - 23 NV
Dems in 2007: 41 aye - 181 no - 9 NV
GOP in 2007: 186 aye - 2 no - 14 NV
2008 total: 293 aye - 129 no - 13 NV
Dems in 2008: 105 aye - 128 no - 3 NV
GOP in 2008: 188 aye - 1 no - 10 NV

Here are the 58 who switched from NO to YES.

58 who flipped from no to aye (i.e. good to bad): Gary Ackerman, Mike Arcuri, Joe Baca, Brian Baird, Shelly Berkley, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Sanford Bishop, Tim Bishop, Rick Boucher, Nancy Boyda, Corrine Brown, GK Butterfield, Dennis Cardoza, Kathy Castor, Emanuel Cleaver, Jim Clyburn, Joe Crowley, Norm Dicks, Rahm Emanuel, Eliot Engel, Gabby Giffords, Kirsten Gillibrand, Al Green, Gene Green, Luis Gutierrez, Jane Harman, Tim Holden, Paul Kanjorski, Dale Kildee, Ron Kind, Jim Langevin, Nita Lowey, Tim Mahoney, Carolyn McCarthy, Jerry McNerney, Greg Meeks, Dennis Moore, John Murtha, Solomon Ortiz, Nancy Pelosi, Ed Perlmutter, Nick Rahall, Silvestre Reyes, Dutch Ruppersberger, Adam Schiff, David Scott, Joe Sestak, Brad Sherman, Albio Sires, Adam Smith, John Spratt, Bart Stupak, Ellen Tauscher, Bennie Thompson, Mark Udall, John Yarmuth

Yeh, I know...we will never know the answers. We are just expected to stay on board, fall in line, and not ask questions. Just like always. As we probably will, even as our constitution is battered by Congress.

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