More on the FISA revision

Let’s see if we can figure out why this story just happened to pop up now. First of all we know that portions of the FISA law were ruled unconstitutional by a court “several” months ago. So, key lawmakers have known about this “problem” for months. Yet, we heard nothing. Why now? Why right before Congress goes for August recess? Maybe it was because of Senator Obama’s speech. Obama, in my opinion, sounded realistic when he said that the administration lost Osama bin Laden and that he would go after Al Qaeda in Pakistan if Musharraf wouldn’t. Obama sounded muscular. Dems scrambled to match Obama. The Bush White House was left with – that’s what we are doing when in fact that isn’t what the administration is doing.

So like a poor magician the Bush Administration is trying to distract us from the real issue. Why hasn’t Osama bin Laden been captured or killed? Why did the Bush administration let Bin Laden get out of Kabel? or Tora Bora?

Finally, the republicans have revised FISA almost every year since 9/11. Why haven’t they got it right yet?

Statement from Senator Russ Feingold:

We need to wiretap terrorists, and we should address the problem that has been identified with FISA with respect to foreign-to-foreign communications. But the administration’s overly broad proposal goes far beyond that and would leave critical decisions related to surveillance involving Americans entirely up to the Attorney General. The proposal from the Democratic leadership is better and involves FISA court review from the start. But it does not have adequate safeguards to protect Americans’ privacy. The bill should also include a 90-day sunset to ensure Congress has the chance to identify and fix any problems with this new proposal.”


From WaPo:

A federal intelligence court judge earlier this year secretly declared a key element of the Bush administration’s wiretapping efforts illegal, according to a lawmaker and government sources, providing a previously unstated rationale for fevered efforts by congressional lawmakers this week to expand the president’s spying powers.

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) disclosed elements of the court’s decision in remarks Tuesday to Fox News as he was promoting the administration-backed wiretapping legislation. Boehner has denied revealing classified information, but two government officials privy to the details confirmed that his remarks concerned classified information.  (more…)