Sunday, October 7, 2007

News Of Progressive Democrat's Success On New FISA Bill Is A Sham

Many in the Left Blogosphere today will be celebrating the news from the Washington Post of the "new and improved" FISA bill being proffered by the Democratic House Leadership after severe pressure from the progressive caucus. It will be hailed as a big step in the right direction and major progress. That is false. No progress whatsoever, and don't for one second be fooled into thinking it is. When it was first announced that the House Leadership was pulling their new FISA legislation under pressure from progressives to retool it, I commented that the "Dem Leadersheep will come up with a couple of token meaningless concessions and prepare a parliamentary and whip count strategy to make sure the progressives don't cause any more problems". Sometimes, it is painful being right.

From the WaPo article:

"Some conservatives want no judicial oversight, and some liberals oppose any notion of a blanket order," said James X. Dempsey, Center for Democracy and Technology policy director. "So the challenge of the Democratic leadership is to strike a balance, one that gives the National Security Agency the flexibility to select its targets overseas but that keeps the court involved to protect the private communications of innocent Americans."
What total crock of dung. "The challenge of the Democratic leadership" is to enact a law THAT COMPLIES WITH THE CONSTITUTION; not to "strike a balance" between unconstitutional governmental intrusion and totally off the the charts unconstitutional governmental intrusion. This is absolute baloney. The Fourth Amendment requires particularized and individualized basis for government invasion of it's citizens. Period. "Blanket" and "umbrella" warranted takings do NOT comply. And having the Department of Justice Inspector General, a member of the administration, who is NOT a neutral and detached magistrate, compile a self serving report of what the administration has done and seized from it's citizens, and submit it to the FISA Court quarterly, AFTER THE FACT, doesn't do diddly squat for me or the Constitution either.

The House of Representatives has not done anything positive on the issue of immunity here either. They have sunk back to the same exact shell game that got us the wonderful Pillage, er, Protect America Act. They are backing the critical issues up against their already pre-established timelines. Again, from the Washinton Post article:
"The White House on Friday evening told the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence and judiciary committees that it would put together that information by Oct. 22 but would not say when or whether it would make the information available to lawmakers.

We have told the White House for weeks that the House plans to consider FISA legislation on October 17," said a senior Democratic congressional aide involved in the White House negotiations. "How can members of Congress consider any proposal for immunity if the documents relating to the company's conduct aren't even being assembled by White House lawyers until October 22?

In the Senate, Democrats are working with Republican colleagues on a bill to be introduced this month that probably will contain some form of relief for telecom companies -- an issue that was sidestepped in August to help win passage of the Protect America Act."
The House of Representatives is playing a shell game and hiding the immunity pea under the Senate shell momentarily. This is but a slightly reformulated repeat of the process that begat us the so called "Protect America Act" in the first place; all of a sudden, the Senate will have something that screws us, and the House will jigger the procedural rules and pass the equivalent, screwing us for good. Every citizen in America should be on the same side of Constitutional Due Process; but, at this point, it is crystal clear that the authoritarians in Washington DC are not, and have no interest in so being. Stand up. Make noise. Refuse compromise baloney. The United States Constitution is in your hands.