After reading, and finally absorbing, some comments to my previous FISA posts, and to keep the conversation going (if nothing else) I thought I’d try to clear up some FISA and PAA confusion (including that in my own head)…
The PAA was designed to expand FISA. According to this wikipedia page (which, frighteningly, seems more objective that the White House page), PAA passed in August 2007, and expired in February of this year.
The current bill, which is an amendment to FISA, appears to be designed to replace the PAA amendments to FISA.
That being said, in comparing what I see on the wikipedia page to what I read in the current FISA amendment, I’m back to being fully pissed at House Democrats. As Sen. Christopher Bond (R – MO) is quoted at Repeal FISA:
I think the White House got a better deal than they even they had hoped to get,
In exchange for some (possibly necessary) oversight authority, which C. pointed out is very much after the fact and doesn’t do anything about the information collected in potential violation of the 4th Amendment, the House Democrats increased the “emergency” unwarranted window from 72 hours to 7 days AND granted retroactive immunity to telecom companies.
That, to me, seems like a really shitty trade. To reinforce this is this exchange from Countdown with Keith Olbermann with Jonathan Turley, “George Washington University law professor and constitutional expert.”
OLBERMANN: And, also hidden in here behind this headline – if you immunize the telecoms, are you not also immunizing the president, the Bush administration and, to some degree, the Congress that went along with all of these crimes in the last seven years?
TURLEY: Well, there‘s no question in my mind that there is an obvious level of collusion here. We now know that Democratic leadership knew about the illegal surveillance program almost from its inception. Even when they were campaigning about fighting for civil liberties, they were aware of an unlawful surveillance program as well as a torture program. And ever since that came out, the Democrats have been silently trying to kill any effort to hold anyone accountable because that list could very well include some of their own members.
It’s time to elect better Democrats.