Not Again (OR Couldn’t it say in a drawer a little bit longer)

I didn’t want to let this week pass without pointing out this disturbing news (via digby):

House Intelligence Chairman Silvestre Reyes told CongressDaily that he is “fine” with language offered by Senate Intelligence ranking member Christopher (Kit) Bond and other Republicans to overhaul the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

Notably, the GOP language, which was offered a day before the recent congressional recess, would leave it up to the secret FISA court to grant retroactive legal immunity to telecommunications companies that have helped the Bush administration conduct electronic surveillance on the communications of U.S. citizens without warrants.


“It’s about finding middle ground and we have middle ground,” Reyes said of the compromise offered by Republicans. “It’s not going to please everyone but let’s get on with it.”

So, after a few month absence from the public eye, FISA is back in the news…  and not in a good way. I was really hoping it would stay gone.

Even worse, I really don’t understand why “It’s about finding middle ground”…   Why does this require negotiation? It’s not about the ability to protect the country. Since that’s taken care of, why is congress negotiating between the interests of the populace and some telecom companies?

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