"It is never okay, never okay for government officials to use a general warrant to deliberately invade the privacy of a law-abiding American," Wyden said. "It wasn’t okay for constables and customs officials to do it in colonial days, and it’s not okay for the National Security Agency to do it today."
While conceding that the bill could use some oversight improvements, Sen. Dianne Feinsten (D-Calif.), the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, urged passage of the bill without alteration to avoid prompting both a fight with the House of Representatives, which has already passed a "clean," unamended version of the bill, and also the program's expiration.
Without renewal, she said, "the program comes down. The program is interrupted."
She and other senators who favor an unamended bill cited procedures meant to minimize when Americans' intelligence is collected and used, as well as a secret court that oversees the program, as evidence that it is being used appropriately.
No Freedoms in Post 9/11 America? | Big Brother Watch
Former Accused Iraqi Agent
Susan Lindauer, Secret Charges and
The Patriot Act in Action
The Executioner and Justice - John Heartfield
Susan Lindauer Interviewed by Michael Collins
'Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." Herman Goering, Interview at Nuremburg Trials, April 14, 1946
"The Patriot Act was used against me in total contradiction to its stated purpose. Or perhaps it was the most logical use of the law, since it establishes a legal framework to crush free thinking and interrupt individual questioning of the government. It is the beginning of all dictatorship in America." Susan Lindauer, March 9, 2009
In March, 2004 Susan Lindauer was arrested for allegedly acting as an "unregistered agent" for prewar Iraq. She challenged the government's assertion and sought the right to prove at Trial that she'd been a United States intelligence asset covering Iraq and Libya from the early 1990's through 2003 (see articles).
In an unprecedented judicial ploy that lasted five years, federal prosecutors blocked Ms. Lindauer's rights to trial or any other sort of evidentiary hearings that would test her story. For 11 months, she was confined at Carswell federal prison on a Texas military base and at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan, without a conviction or plea bargain.
Senate bows to Bush, approves surveillance bill
By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jul 9, 4:38 PM ET
Bowing to President Bush's demands, the Senate sent the White House a bill Wednesday overhauling bitterly disputed rules on secret government eavesdropping and shielding telecommunications companies from lawsuits complaining they helped the U.S. spy on Americans.
The relatively one-sided vote, 69-28, came only after a lengthy and heated debate that pitted privacy and civil liberties concerns against the desire to prevent terrorist attacks. It ended almost a year of wrangling over surveillance rules and the president's warrantless wiretapping program that was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The House passed the same bill last month, and Bush said he would sign it soon.
Opponents assailed the eavesdropping program, asserting that it imperiled citizens' rights of privacy from government intrusion. But Bush said the legislation protects those rights as well as Americans' security.
182 comments so far at ThinkProgress(sic)
Hatch compares FISA critics to those ‘who wear tin foil hats and think 9/11 was an inside job.’»
Speaking today on the Senate floor in favor of the Foreign Service Intelligence Act legislation, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) compared critics of the bill — which include Sens. Harry Reid (D-NV), Chris Dodd (D-CT), and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), among others — to deluded conspiracy theorists. Hatch mocked the what he called “onerous oversight provisions” included in the bill, and said those who raise the specter of unchecked executive wiretapping power “feed the delusions of those who wear tin foil hats around their house and think that 9/11 was an inside job.” Watch it:
Those “onerous” oversight provisions Hatch maligns? A ban on “reverse targeting” of Americans and a new requirement of probable cause for surveillance of Americans abroad.
"Please ask your non-representatives to turn out the lights as they exit the Halls of Congress to campaign for re-election." -- Blaine Kinsey
I couldn't agree more. -- Betsy
Original Content at http://www.opednews.com/articles/FISA-IN-THE-LAND-OF-NINE-E-by-Blaine-Kinsey-080621-210.html
June 21, 2008
FISA in the Land of 9-11 Changed Everything
By Blaine Kinsey
Yesterday was a day that will live in infamy due to the vote in the House of non-Representatives for FISA legislation that cripples the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and also enables Congress to usurp the powers of the Judicial Branch by granting retroactive immunity to the telecommunication providers that assisted with the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program. Quisling Democrats are calling this legislation a compromise, but that is only true in the sense that they have needlessly compromised the Constitution due to cowardice and shallow political considerations. An analysis of the vote quickly reveals that the minority Republicans still control the debate in Congress.
House votes to approve FISA revision
Dem leadership leaves its party behind in supporting compromise
By Peter Duveen
PETER'S NEW YORK, June 20, 2008--After a lively debate in which a phalanx of Democrats voiced their strong opposition, the U.S. House of Representatives today approved legislation to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA). But the Democratic leadership appeared to have left behind the majority of its party in siding with the Republicans on the compromise legislation.
Some 105 Democrats voted for the bill, outnumbered by 128 in the party who voted against it. Only one Republican voted in opposition, 188 voting for the bill, demonstrating the strong partisan nature of the legislation and the power of the Democrats to easily sink it if they had so decided.
There are several updates in the ongoing fallout from Michael Mukasey's patently false claims made in the speech he delivered several weeks ago in San Francisco regarding FISA and the 9/11 attacks. This week, Mukasey responded to a letter he received from John Conyers and two other Subcommittee Chair in which Mukasey acknowledged (because he was forced to) that the call he claimed originated from an "Afghan safe house" into the U.S. was fictitious, but he nonetheless vaguely asserted that his underlying point -- that FISA unduly restricted pre-9/11 eavesdropping and prevented detection of those attacks -- was somehow still accurate.
The Justice Department has acknowledged that Attorney General Michael Mukasey was mistaken when he told a San Francisco crowd that intelligence agencies couldn't trace a pre-9/11 phone call from Afghanistan to the United States.
Whether he was deliberately lying or simply misinformed is still an open question, but the administration is sticking to the general arguments Mukasey outline, provoking intense furor from House Democrats.
Mukasey's deputy said the attorney general was referring to a phone call placed not from Afganistan but another unidentified country before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In an April 10 letter to members of the House Judiciary Committee, Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski stuck to the general line being advanced by Mukasey and others in the Bush administration -- that limitations on foreign intelligence collection within the US meant to protect Americans civil liberties hindered efforts to detect the 9/11 plot before it happened.
Clips of Keith Obermann, Robert Wexler and John Conyers on Air America Radio's Clout hosted by Richard Green
Saturday February 16, 2008
Air America Radio Host Richard Green replays statements by Keith Obermann, Robert Wexler and John Conyers regarding the Bush administration's attempt to gain immunity via legislation for the telecoms who have illegally listened to our phone calls and read our emails.
* source = http://www.airamerica.com/clout
Bush opens wiretap documents to House
By PAMELA HESS, Associated Press Writer
Ending months of resistance, the White House has agreed to give House members access to secret documents about its warrantless wiretapping program, a congressional official said Thursday.
The Bush administration is trying to convince the House to protect from civil lawsuits the telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on Americans without the approval of a court. Congress created the court 30 years ago to oversee such activities.
House Intelligence and Judiciary committee members and staff will begin reading the documents at the White House Thursday, said an aide to Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas.
Reyes and ranking Republican Rep. Pete Hoekstra of Michigan requested the documents in May, saying they would not support telecom immunity without them. The Senate committees were given the documents last fall.
Senate Votes for Warrantless Surveillance
Bush threatened Senator to prevent their vacation.
16 democrats and one independent (former democrat Lieberman) voted with the republicans.
"We're at war. The enemy wants to attack us," Lieberman said during the Senate debate. "This is not the time to strive for legislative perfection."
The Bush White House tabled its demands thus:
What Is Not Acceptable
Some have proposed that the Government must obtain pre-approval from a court before it conducts critical surveillance of targets located overseas. This is unacceptable. The Government must be able to act immediately, particularly in the case of national security emergencies, to protect the Nation.
Some have suggested that FISA must be reformed, but only to permit collection against certain overseas threats like al Qaeda terrorists. This is unacceptable. There are many threats that confront our Nation, including military, weapons proliferation, and economic, and we must be able to conduct foreign intelligence effectively on all of them.
Below I have listed the members of the FISA court, almost all Reagan/Bush appointees.
According to Secrecy News, "Judge Reggie B. Walton was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court by the Chief Justice of the United States effective May 19." Walton was appointed as a federal judge by George W. Bush in 2001.
In the words of Wikipedia, Judge Walton "dismissed one of FBI whistle-blower Sibel Edmonds' lawsuits, after 'sitting on the case with no activity for almost two years,' and is 'randomly' presiding over her other suit as well. For some reason, Walton's required financial disclosure report for 2003 is completely redacted. According to Edmonds, this redacted statement 'appears to be in violation of the Ethics in Government Act,' which requires judges and certain high ranking government officials to file such reports annually.