Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Is Dick Watching You?

No surprise here today in Cheney's call for Congress to PERMANENTLY extend items like the "Protect" America Act. (sorry could not resist the quotes). The Protect America Act expires in nine days. But instead of letting it die a peaceful death - or at least look at making it a little less . . . oh, I don't know . . . unconstitutional, undemocratic, you name it, Cheney wants us to make the sucker permanent. But not as is. No Cheney wants to "modernize" FISA, making secret electronic surveillance permanent, not simply extended. Harry Reid asked the White House to support a 30-day extension "while we work to strengthen the legal framework for such activities." (whatever THAT means - do you trust Harry Reid anymore? I know I don't!)

As the WaPo notes on its site:
The Protect America Act, passed in August 2007, permits U.S. intelligence to monitor the communications of persons "reasonably believed to be outside the United States" without a court order or oversight. It continues to require an order from the secret FISA court for such surveillance when the targeted person is in the United States. The act also protects third parties from private lawsuits stemming from assistance they provide to the government's intelligence collection efforts.
The requirement that orders should be required from the FISA court is one of those little points that just drives the administration crazy. But then again, Bush's executive signature letters is all he needs to say that it's just part of the law they don't need to obey.

There is an act out there called HR 3773 from John Conyers that amends the act, but doesn't go far enough under our skin for Cheney's liking, so there is opposition to the bill, which passed the House and is sitting in the Senate. (no I don' t have the senate number on me at the moment). But you can check here to see how your Rep voted on 3773.

Personally, I'm with the ACLU, which calls it the "Police America Act" and notes that the law "contains virtually no protections for the U.S. end of the phone call or e-mail, leaving decisions about the collection, mining and use of Americans' private communications up to this administration."

Aren't you glad you asked?


Blogger Mr. Natural said...

In Washington state the Dems all voted FOR it, and the Repu against something called R-E-S-T-O-R-E. Oh well...I guess if my Democratic representatives trust the Bush "administration", I should too...FUCKIN DICKHEAD SONSABITCHES!

8:23 PM  
Blogger TomCat said...

I'm with you, LP. NO IMMUNITY!!

12:27 PM  

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