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For six years, the Bush Administration and the nation’s communication companies have been illegally spying on Americans’ phone calls and e-mails. They did this in direct violation of the Constitution’s 4th Amendment and a federal statute – FISA. Both laws emphatically forbid such surveillance unless the government first obtains a warrant from an independent (eg, FISA) court.
Your Congress, including the Democrats are now working to give the companies that colluded with the administration immunity for these crimes.
By the way, both Barak Obama and John McCain sold out on this one. Obama voted for it; Every single republican voted for it. McCain was too much of a coward to even vote, but we all know which way he would have voted - certainly not against party lines.
FISA makes violation of these warrant requirements a felony, but the Bush “Justice” Department refuses to prosecute anyone. And rather than demand a halt to such lawbreaking, a full accounting of what happened, and legal accountability for the perpetrators, the US Senate, against the will of the people has chosen to grant immunity to the lawbreakers, while sanctioning more warrantless surveillance, weakened oversight and a sham investigation.
These FISA revisions essentially gut the law’s protections; they will continue the cover up of criminal behavior and ensure that no one is ever held accountable for breaking the law.
And it wasn’t just a few, scattered incidents of warrantless surveillance, nor was the spying directed solely at suspected “terrorists.” The spying was massive, sweeping, and undifferentiated. Everyone’s privacy was vulnerable.
The telecoms violated both the law and their obligation to protect their customers’ privacy from unlawful government snooping. With their help, the Bush Administration diverted, stored and searched through millions of our communications looking for . . . what?
None but a few government insiders knows what they’ve got, who gets to look at it, what becomes of it. And because the FISA revision bill gives the telecoms immunity from lawsuits, we may never know the extent of this illegal spying. More important, we won't know how our private information becomes misinterpreted and misused – that is, used against us, without us knowing why or being able to do anything about it.
Only a handful in Congress have been briefed, and given this Administration's pervasive lying, we have no reason to trust that even these few were told the truth. Most in Congress remain blissfully ignorant of what these programs involve, and their attempts to explain their support for the revisions reveal they have no clue what they’re approving.
The Senate and House sponsors of this shameful effort have consistently misrepresented this bill. Their claims that it is a reasonable “compromise” between national security needs and civil liberties include the notion that if a bill makes legal what was previously illegal, that’s progress. They claim the bill requires the executive branch to investigate itself, so that is better than having the executive branch defy Congressional efforts to investigate. How pitiful.
Here's how your "representatives" voted:
Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---69 (means they support giving the administration and telcoms immunity for breaking the law and violating the Constitution and illegally spying on Americans without warrants)
FISA REFORM bill - under state of emergency & continued threat Posted by P. Shahir on 2008-07-09 19:47:11
Yeah - 69 all right - whichever way we look at it - from both sides of the divide.
Note that Honorable Senator Kennedy did not send a vote either ..... and this can be very telling.
What matters most, is that it is now called the FISA REFORM, and not merely ' FISA '.
Under these authentical emergency times, there is both solid proof and most urgent need to prevent any threat to good people within the USA and amongst true friends across the world.
This will bolster more authentical gestus and help relieve dangers and threats too to those who have selflessly and silently struggled beyond exhaustion in defense of USA and help strengthen US resolve to help defy tyranny, terror and narco-terror corruption financial suckers who endanger US economy and safety of citizens.
To my understanding, the FISA REFORM bill will diligently strive to ensure that information is not abused against individuals and by hidden lobby political extremist agendas.
I for one do not condone the dangers to Consitution and Democracy, if a despotic group were to try and take over leadership by force - or to endorse embezzling funds to the andvantage of specific companies.
To my humble understanding, under the state of emergency, and overhanging threat to good people, there is a weighty waiver on any Constitutional 4th Amenedment, due to mainstay defense and security issues.
However, under FISA REFORM bill ( in contrast to mere 'FISA' ) all checks and balances would have to be watched most closely by a separate non-partisan and even non-political expert oversight intell commission, in order to help guarantee the protection of peace abiding loving citizens and true friends of the USA.
This is no sleeping pillow cushion for ulterior motives of extremist agendas and economical spionage criminals who may have hidden agendas, or even unconsiously discriminate peoples' private lives.
I for one, will continue to strive and encourage all efforts so that, on the long run, there could be accountability if companies or individuals were to overstep bounds for reason of personal vendetta or economical exploitation.
These are dire times as media warfare funded by certain multinational oil re-investors would like to take advantage of US liberties in order to control and abuse the US peoples desire to respect and protect diversity and good people.
FISA REFORM statuates a solid union across all party divides and walks of life, confirming that ALL avenues of defense should be persued, if we were to ensure most peaceful outcome for good people everywhere.
If any company were to have hidden motives, these can still be uncovered, and any systematic abuse can still trigger off prosecution, for any activities with false intentions or hidden agendas abusing eavesdropping.
I congratulate the beloved US govt and peoples in that unity is maintained in face of a most sly and all invasive enemy that sends out phishing schemes to all US electronic addresses, endangering US economies, lives and wellbeing - while people of the US have been forbidden from gathering intelligence that assuredly would save lives.
I for one, will pray and strive to better understand the 4th amendment and how to ensure that intentions be as pure as gold, and sharper and harder than diamond, so that this bill will in fact help US Americans raise their outlook towards being US American, and magnanimous defenders of Humanity, in an entirely new way.
All individuals and enterprises will so learn to be honest and transparent, and re-examinable, for true intentions will pass on relevant information to relevant security and not persue a selfish exploitation of US intitutions, for they will sooner or later be uncovered, and game will be soon over for them ......
For peace of mind of all good people,
May the Almighty bless and protect,
Devotedly, P. Shahir
Intense pleasure seeing Hon Sen Ted Kennedy come to vote Posted by P. Shahir on 2008-07-10 07:54:41
I gathered from media that Hon Senator Ted Kennedy came yesterday to the Senate to give a vote in support of health care to elderly persons over 65. It made me so happy to see the kind reception !
I applaud the intense kindness and encouragement from both Republicans, Democrats, Independents and all walks of life towards Hon Senator Kennedy.
I had suggested to Hon President G.W. Bush that a proper accreditation and oversight would be needed specially on such sensitive issues of oversight ( and in general for all intelligence members who also surely need encouragement too for tedious work .)
I remember seeing a transcript of Senator Ted Kennedy calling for reassurances that strategic security information gathering must not be abused for lobby extreme purposes. ( an approximate impression )
I am sure that there are great people from both sides of the divide, as well as Independents, non-politicals and experts who understand these issues, and I hope to find ways of encouraging positive outcome, so that all good people could feel safe and secure - and abuses trying to sideline the true intentions of the FISA REFORM can be intercepted - and even prosecuted, as false intentions would, in my opinion, anull any 'immunity'.
In state of emergency, ALL citizens and companies ( as well as true friends of the USA ) feel a moral duty to do all they can - even though many of those people may appear silent and blow no horn on their works, it can be a lonely word, and it is wondeful that Representatives and Senators encourage each other towards inclusive unity, and thus strenghten Democracy in the USA.
Thank you Sen Ted Kennedy for coming ! Hope all can help so you feel strengthened and happy, and may there always be a good atmosphere of positive dialogue in the Senate and within all committees !
There are great and kind hearted people on all sides !
God bless !
Devotedly yours, P. Shahir
President Bush signs H.R. 6304, FISA Amendment act of 2008.... Posted by P. Shahir on 2008-07-10 17:28:05
This can be read at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/07/20080710-2.html
This is a HUGE difference, because this is the AMENDMENT of FISA - and a huge task is taken at hand, regarding moral duties, and struggle to work with the best in societies to advance the security and wellbeing of citizens, and thus truest friends of USA can feel more secure too.
A lot of work to be done, also to help appreciate all struggling in line of duty, as well as those volunteers and people of good heart who try to do what they can to serve and to assist.
I congratulate Congress and the President for having taken up the challenge so that all avenues could be persued towards understanding, kind layer of mind, honesty, and pre-empting dangers in most peaceful ways ... long before they run out of hand .....
Thanks to another article on phonetapping concerns that also pointed out that the www.FCC.gov is another agency that also looks into such matters. BTW if there were 200 million phone numbers one could imagine that there were 200 million listeners - no - there are systems and expert analysts that struggle to decifre just that signal or move that could pose a threat to peaceloving people. The job is a heavy one, and many laws are taken into account.
(I have much to learn about so many branches and departments !)
I found that the NSA website places very heavy stress on the issue of abiding by the law under all circumstances, and the standards of the agency are constantly raised, and re-analysis, training, review and debriefing are most probably methods that are constantly persued, closely watched and guided by Oversight Committees, experts and contributors, who, in turn, intensify their part to constantly help raise issues of concern.
NSA underlines the Oversight Committees duties on 4th amendment :
Here is the NSA link :
Indicates that citizens serving are demanded a very high level and sense of duty and morals.
All administrative and executive branches are in a dynamic process of evolving and advancing.
By raising understanding and the culture and sense of duty and service, all serving citizens help improve security and help advance common wellbeing.
Thus the interests of non-lobby persons can ALSO be taken into consideration and protected, while also assisting good people of all walks of life protecting them from unseen dangers such as phishing, ID theft, and various other dangers that endanger the survival of good people.
Thanks to inquiring and concerned citizens, objectives and working parameters can be improved on constantly, - always keeping in mind that certain workers behind the scenes struggle with difficult tasks ahead - to help defend National Security and all good people.
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