So Who Protects America from Chimpy?

Good morning. At this moment, somewhere in the world, terrorists are planning new attacks on our country. Their goal is to bring destruction to our shores that will make September the 11th pale by comparison.–George W. Bush, February 13, 2008

From the Christian Science Monitor:

Washington – The White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill each had a hand in letting a temporary wiretapping law expire this weekend, but most of the political fallout is landing on Congress.

President Bush had pledged to veto any bill that merely extended the temporary law without resolving the matter of immunity for telecommunications firms that helped the government with its secret eavesdropping program after 9/11. A “patchwork extension” wouldn’t give the security needed to protect the nation, Mr. Bush said, and he urged Republican lawmakers to vote against it.


Original DVD cover.

House Democratic leaders said they would not be “jammed” by the White House into accepting the Senate version of the bill – which includes the immunity provision – and wanted more time to work out differences with the Senate.

As a result, at the stroke of midnight Saturday, the Protect America Act expired.

…snip…

Bush said Thursday that failure to update the Protect America Act will “harm our ability to monitor new terrorist activities and could reopen dangerous gaps in our intelligence.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in response, dubbed such talk fear-mongering. The president has authority to continue needed eavesdropping under another law, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), she said. Moreover, the authorities granted under the temporary law enacted in August will carry on for a year, she added.

…snip…

“This is the Democratic allegiance to the plaintiff’s bar,” Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday on CNN’s “Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer.” “They’re more interested in seeing [telecom] companies in court than they are seeing terrorists in jail.”

…snip…

On Sunday, Director of National Intelligence Mike McConnell said on “Fox News Sunday” that “a warrant means probable cause, which is a very time-consuming process to go through.” Moreover, he said, the telecom companies “might be unwilling to cooperate with the lawful requests from the government in the future, without unnecessary court involvement and protracted litigation.”

Democrats say that if a previously unknown terrorist group must be surveilled, the administration can use existing authorities under FISA. “Under FISA, the attorney general can approve surveillance in minutes. Surveillance can begin immediately, and approval of the FISA court can be obtained within three days,” says Pelosi spokesman Nadeam Elshami. Unlike last summer, when Congress first passed the Protect America Act, no backlog of cases exists to slow the process of obtaining surveillance approvals.

So who is correct? Let’s see….
From the Washington Times:

Many intelligence scholars and analysts outside the government say that today’s expiration of certain temporary domestic wiretapping laws will have little effect on national security, despite warnings to the contrary by the White House and Capitol Hill Republican leaders.

…snip…

The original FISA law, these experts say, provides the necessary tools for the intelligence community to eavesdrop on suspected terrorists.

Who are these lefty pinko liberals?

Timothy Lee, an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, said the last time Congress overhauled FISA — after the September 11 terrorist attacks — President Bush praised the action, saying the new law “recognizes the realities and dangers posed by the modern terrorist.”

“Those are the rules we’ll be living under after the Protect America Act expires this weekend,” Mr. Lee added. “There’s no reason to think our nation will be in any more danger in 2008 than it was in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, or 2006.”

Ben Wittes of the Brookings Institution said because existing warrantless surveillance begun under the temporary laws could continue for up to a year, the “sky is not falling at all.”

…snip…

Mr. Wittes also said he was “somewhat bewildered by the apocalyptic rhetoric” of the White House.

…snip…

The issue won’t be resolved until at least Feb. 25, when Congress is scheduled to return from its February recess.

13 Comments

Filed under 9/11, Attorney General, Chimpy, Congress, Democrats, FISA, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, George W. Bush, GWOT, humor, Mike McConnell, movies, Nancy Pelosi, parody, politics, Protect America Act, Republicans, Senate, September 11, snark, Wiretaps, Wordpress Political Blogs

13 responses to “So Who Protects America from Chimpy?

  1. nightowl724

    Poor, poor “he thinks he’s king” Bush. He should be sitting on a porcelain throne, because he’s so full of shit! nonnie, a fine job. The use of a Joan Crawford movie drew me down the Dubya Dearest path. The similarities are startling. “I frighten, threaten, spy on, torture, and abuse Americans precisely to prove how much I actually LOVE them! Now, where DID I put that button hook?”

    Mommy Dearest at Wikipedia:
    http://tinyurl.com/27a62w

    The movie trailer at YouTube:
    http://tinyurl.com/2byo9c

  2. Got a Grip

    And don’t forget the coat hangers, nightowl. If we’re going down Crawford lane, we must include the coat hangers…

  3. nightowl724

    Oh, yea, gotta… I wouldn’t want to forget the wire coat hangers. At least Joan didn’t waterboard or attach wiring to Cristina’s genitals (that we know of, anyway). But, both “dearests” didn’t mind doing their “work” on kids, did they?

  4. nonnie9999

    i so wanted to use that line as the title, but what sounds like hangers? i thought of No More Dire Haranguers, but i don’t think many people actually click on the link to see the original movie, so i didn’t know if it would make much sense to a lot of people.

  5. TRM

    Sooooo, you think it a good idea to cripple our intelligence simply to spite President Bush? Isn’t that,,,, uuuhhh,, not smart?

    Pelosi needs her ass beat with a coat hanger and I volunteer to do it….

    the flip side here…..
    http://www.dequalss.com/wp/?p=141

  6. nonnie9999

    oh, trm, i hope that you don’t choke on the kool-aid when it is being poured down your throat. if you are so worried that we are now under some kind of dire threat, then blame your preznit, not nancy pelosi. why is it more important to protect the telecoms instead of the american people? that is, if your premise of the intelligence community having their hands tied is correct (it isn’t). why didn’t chimpy sign the bill and then fight about amnesty for the telecoms later? he can’t be too worried about ‘merikans if he would put them at risk to protect his buddies at the telecoms.
    as for robert novak, he is either a moron or a liar. i suggest this for some late night reading.

  7. Got a Grip

    Oh, please. TRM, you’re going to have to do better than that to defend this utter tripe from the right. We’re not a bunch of ignorant sheeple, we actually read and study this stuff. The intelligence community’s ability to spy on legitimate targets has not been compromised. It wasn’t being compromised when the egregious PAA was passed last August. This is all about Bush trying to legitimize his illegal wiretapping program and he’s using the telco industry to try and do it. FISA was more than enough to do what needs to be done and it still is.

    I happen to like my freedoms. I don’t want people spying on my phone conversations, what I read or download off the internet or the books I read. I also think habeas corpus is a really fine idea, and wish the cowardly enablers in Congress hadn’t allowed these asswipes to jettison that little bit of protection. I think the Constitution is a living document and should be honored and protected as such, as all these spineless cowards were sworn to do when they took office. So blanket spying is not in any way okay with me.

    I like you, TRM, I really do. But this kind of ignorant propaganda won’t fly here. Off with you, now, go on. Come back when you have something halfway intelligent to say….

  8. TRM

    Oh Nonnie shame on you for making my computer open up a Media Matters page,,, it immediately went into protect mode and shut down,, 🙂

    so back and forth we go with, “read this!” no you read “this!” so we have a Mexican standoff oops it’s not PC to say Mexican is it?

    again we disagree,

    no hugs for anyone today,,, except gotta because she called me ignorant… 🙂

  9. TRM

    Hi, my name is TRM and I am going to try to say something intelligent:

    President Bush should be jailed, Cheney should be hung, the world hates America because of republican actions, the world is going to end from global warming, the black community is continuously victimized by whitey, the gay community should have their agenda pushed in public schools, universal health care is the answer to all sickness, Everyone except blacks, mexicans, single mom’s and gays should be taxed at a rate of 90% to pay for it all!!! WHeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

    Hows that?

  10. TRM

    Sorry, my cold has me grumpy….

  11. Got a Grip

    TRM, I’m sorry you’re feeling bad. Take some aspirin and vitamin C, possibly some TheraFlu. But two points:

    1. I didn’t call you ignorant. I called that right-wing propaganda you posted from a man who allowed himself to be used as a tool to out a CIA agent and put legitimate intelligence resources at risk ignorant.

    2. My opinions on this were not formed from talking points from the left or the right, they were formed by a) reading and understanding the FISA act in its original form, b) reading the permutations that have overtaken it since 9/11 and c) reading legitimate sources on the fear-mongering and obfuscation of facts that is the trademark of BushCo. Novak is not in any way a legitimate source. And since it has been clearly documented now that the reason for the legislation Bush wants so badly is to protect the telco industry and himself from legitimate Congressional oversight, and not the American public, I consider his fear-mongering on this issue to be the bullshit it is.

    I won’t address your “intelligent” comment, I’m going to give you a break and assume it’s illness that caused you to go off into bizarro-world there. But I suggest you redouble your efforts to understand us “loony lefties,” as you clearly haven’t gotten a clue yet….

    I’m donning my hazmat suit to hug you, but only because you feel bad. I’ll pretend I didn’t see that other tripe….

  12. TRM

    well gotta you gotta call me a name to get a hug,,,,

  13. Got a Grip

    Will Poopyhead work, TRM? — — —> 🙂

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