26 January, 2008

State of the FISA

On Monday, President Bush will give his (hopefully) final State of the Union address.

Because of procedural and behind the scenes bullying by the Republicans, the Senate is poised to schedule the SIC-marked up FISA bill Monday, where it will hopefully be filibustered. The SIC bill grants retroactive immunity to United States telecommunications companies who, without any authorization other than Dick Cheney asking them (and I'm sure not nicely) took it upon themselves to spy on American citizens -- without a warrant.

There are those who will claim, as the President surely will Monday night, that Democratic obstruction to extending FISA updates past February (which the SJC marked up bill does, by the way) will put American's in danger. The argument, according to right-wing operatives, is that if carte blanche amnesty is not fully granted without compromise then suddenly NSA collection will grind to a halt, allowing Terrorists to Slaughter Americans in America with impunity.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Having followed the issue on Greenwald on Salon, I stumbled upon this link: http://fisa.wikispot.org/Telecom_Immunity_Arguments

The information seems to be well enough annotated. I would recommend reading Greenwald to get the specifics on what this debate is really all about, who is behind telecom amnesty and why.

But on Monday, when Bush lies that Democrats are endangering our nation and our troops, do not believe him. Call your representative and tell them you are against telecom amnesty, FISA updates and the Patriot Act!

And tell Senators Obama and Clinton to put their money where their mouth is: