Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Statement of Barack Obama supporting Hoyer FISA bill
Statement of Senator Barack Obama on FISA Compromise
“Given the grave threats that we face, our national security agencies must have the capability to gather intelligence and track down terrorists before they strike, while respecting the rule of law and the privacy and civil liberties of the American people. There is also little doubt that the Bush Administration, with the cooperation of major telecommunications companies, has abused that authority and undermined the Constitution by intercepting the communications of innocent Americans without their knowledge or the required court orders.
“That is why last year I opposed the so-called Protect America Act, which expanded the surveillance powers of the government without sufficient independent oversight to protect the privacy and civil liberties of innocent Americans. I have also opposed the granting of retroactive immunity to those who were allegedly complicit in acts of illegal spying in the past.
“After months of negotiation, the House today passed a compromise that, while far from perfect, is a marked improvement over last year's Protect America Act.
“Under this compromise legislation, an important tool in the fight against terrorism will continue, but the President's illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over. It restores FISA and existing criminal wiretap statutes as the exclusive means to conduct surveillance – making it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people. It also firmly re-establishes basic judicial oversight over all domestic surveillance in the future. It does, however, grant retroactive immunity, and I will work in the Senate to remove this provision so that we can seek full accountability for past offenses. But this compromise guarantees a thorough review by the Inspectors General of our national security agencies to determine what took place in the past, and ensures that there will be accountability going forward. By demanding oversight and accountability, a grassroots movement of Americans has helped yield a bill that is far better than the Protect America Act.
“It is not all that I would want. But given the legitimate threats we face, providing effective intelligence collection tools with appropriate safeguards is too important to delay. So I support the compromise, but do so with a firm pledge that as President, I will carefully monitor the program, review the report by the Inspectors General, and work with the Congress to take any additional steps I deem necessary to protect the lives – and the liberty – of the American people.”
posted by Glenn Greenwald | 12:57 PMComments (21) | Trackbacks (2)
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
http://www.aclu.org/safefree/spying/35653prs20080613.htmlACLU Urges Congress Not to Legalize Warrantless Wiretapping (6/13/2008)
If Deal Includes Immunity It’s a Gift From Congress to Telecommunications Companies
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (202) 675-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union comments on a reported deal on gutting the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office:
“This FISA deal looks like the unconstitutional Senate bill in sheep’s clothing. Whatever silk purse Hoyer tries to make of Bond's sow's ear and no matter how they try to sell it, the end result of all this negotiating will be exactly what the administration has wanted from the beginning — FISA rewritten to delete court oversight of surveillance and immunity for its pals at the telephone companies.”
“From the language we’ve seen, we’re back at square one, looking at a bill just like the old Senate bill that lacks meaningful judicial involvement. The Fourth Amendment requires prior and individual court review before the government digs into our private conversations. It is clear the next vote will be on a bill that fails this test — by permitting the government to conduct mass untargeted surveillance, sometimes without prior court review, and sometimes with prior court review — and then only when the government unilaterally decides that it is willing and able to answer to the judicial branch.”
“It is also clear that the deal is intentionally designed to grant immunity to companies that facilitated illegal wiretapping. If the only role for the court — be it District or a FISA court — is to determine whether the companies received a request from the Administration, and not to determine whether those requests were legal, it’s a sham review. The president has publicly acknowledged that the companies were repeatedly sent authorizations to turn over Americans phone calls and emails. It is absolutely guaranteed that current and future cases will never determine whether this administration and its friends in the telecom industry broke the law.”
“The ACLU urges Senators to vote against this deal if it is brought to a vote next week.”
To learn more about Senator Kit Bond's (R-Mo.) FISA proposal, go to: www.aclu.org/safefree/spying/35652res20080613.htmlFor more information, visit: www.aclu.org/fisa
Friday, June 13, 2008
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Asha Music- Dick Cheney (political commentary)
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Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Friday, June 06, 2008
Effectively Endorses G.W. Bush/Tel-Con Treason