Monday, February 25, 2008

FISA and Henny Penny

Henny Penny: The sky is falling!

February 22, 2008

The administration's strategy became clear yesterday: there will be no compromise. The Democrats will back down and pass the Senate's version of the surveillance bill (with retroactive immunity for the telecoms), or they will be consistently attacked for exposing the country to risk.

The strategy continued today. For the second day in a row, Republicans boycotted talks to reconcile the Senate and House versions of the surveillance bill.

And Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell and Attorney General Michael Mukasey got in the act, sending a letter to House intelligence committee Chair Silvestre Reyes (D-TX) that claimed that the lapse of the Protect America Act this past weekend has already had a significant impact on intelligence collection. You can read that whole letter here.

Henny Penny: Oops! Never mind. (*blush*)

February 24, 2008

Whoops. Strike that: the sky is not falling. But it'll probably fall soon. So Dems should still give in, pronto. From The Washington Post:

The Bush administration said yesterday that the government "lost intelligence information" because House Democrats allowed a surveillance law to expire last week, causing some telecommunications companies to refuse to cooperate with terrorism-related wiretapping orders.

But hours later, administration officials told lawmakers that the final holdout among the companies had relented and agreed to fully participate in the surveillance program, according to an official familiar with the issue.

Will bozo time never end?

"Be afraid, very afraid." - "No wait, don't be afraid quite yet." - "But of course, be prepared to be afraid." They can't even get their lies straight.

Anyone with a passing familiarity with the issues knows this is all horsepuckey. The FISA law permits intercepts with a rubber stamp warrant from the FISA Court, or without a warrant for thirty-six hours until a warrant can be obtained. The PAA says that all existing wiretaps can continue for one-year without renewal. All existing wiretaps can be expanded to include any additional subjects that are part of the same group. And the telecoms have immunity from liability for any new "taps" if there is a warrant authorizing the activity.

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