Per Obama’s quotes on the FISA ‘compromise’ on TPM, he says these amendments are “a marked improvement over last year’s Protect America Act.” He states that “the President’s illegal program of warrantless surveillance will be over.” Obama then even has the nerve to say that this bill makes “it clear that the President cannot circumvent the law and disregard the civil liberties of the American people.”
Someone let me know if there was another FISA bill that was passed today because Barack apparently isn’t talking about the same bill I read about today. The one I read about gave telecommunication companies immunity from any laws they might have broken, but of course we will never find out what those might have been once this immunity is granted.
The bill I read about allows for mass and untargeted surveillance of Americans’ communications with no court oversight on the who, what and why of the spying. Worse yet, in the unlikely event that the court would deny an order for any reason, the government is allowed to continue surveillance throughout the appeals process, thereby rendering the role of the judiciary meaningless.
A court review without power is no court review at all.
So Obama says “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.”
Well shit, I feel safer already. Shame you don’t have the constitutional fortitude to block this Fourth Amendment shredding machine while you still have the chance. If you had any leadership skills you would rally the Democrats to ram this bill back up the President’s and the Republican party’s collective ass so the Democrats could introduce truly useful FISA reforms in a few months. I thought you were different but now I see you’re no better than all the other spineless Democratic cowards in the House and Senate.
Change? I don’t see any change here. All I see is another Democrat willing to capitulate on his principles in the name of expediency. Whether he is a coward or simply calculating makes no difference at the end of the day, either way the Constitution is compromised and none of us are any safer.