Why FISA needs to be updated or scrapped

posted at 8:19 pm on September 28, 2007 by Bryan

The domestic wiretap law should not get in the way of our ability to monitor terrorists who are abducting US soldiers in Iraq, right? Hopefully we can all agree on that much.

Well, FISA regulations and restrictions got right in the way even though none of the terrorists who were being monitored were ever in the US at all. Click to play and learn why.

More: Ace tipped us to this story and has a solid run-down of it.

Confronted with the bad outcomes caused by their ridiculous laws, Democrats always seem to argue, basically, that people should ignore the law when necessary. They insinuated that when the DoJ determined it did not have legal cause to examine Zaccharias Moussaui’s laptop without a warrant, for example: They should have just had the foresight to know they should ignore the law and search for 9/11 plots on that laptop.

That’s also essentially McCain’s view on torture. It’s an abdication of responsibility on the part of the political class, McCain included, since they know good and well that any operative who actually does ignore the law in the emergency situation will be public fried afterward. That person’s career will be over even though they may have saved lives, and even though they acted in a way that the politicians have publicly stated ought to be done. None of that will matter when the screaming starts, though.

Update: This won’t probably surprise anyone, but the ACLU is fighting to water down the FISA laws even more.


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The argument has always been “spying on Americans”, but it has been stated over and over again that it’s isn’t.

Liberals only hear and repeat what they want to hear.

Kini on September 28, 2007 at 8:25 PM

Beautiful.

HerrMorgenholz on September 28, 2007 at 8:27 PM

We sure have elected some supremely stoooopid people, haven’t we? Unf&$#ingbelievable.

commonsensehoosier on September 28, 2007 at 8:30 PM

Does this mean that the evil Chimpy McBushitler will have even greater access to my library card records!

Never!!!!!!

/ sarc.off

Why don’t they just break the law and do their damned job in emergencies like this and suffer the fines or penalties later.

As the FBI should have done with Moussaoui’s laptop before 9/11.

Damnable pussyfoooting fools.

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

profitsbeard on September 28, 2007 at 8:39 PM

Liberals only hear and repeat what they want to hear.

It’s not only that they have been lying…

Privacy rules forced intelligence agencies to wait about 12 hours to tap an Iraqi phone number believed to be connected to the kidnappers of three U.S. soldiers in Iraq this spring, intelligence officials have told members of Congress. By the time officials obtained the legal permission for the tap, it was no longer useful, National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell told the House Intelligence Committee. The officials had to show that the target likely was a foreign agent and get the attorney general’s approval, which is why it took so long, he said.

The kidnapping case puts human faces on the debate over the future of the foreign surveillance law, a discussion that had previously been highly technical. Some committee Democrats, however, suggested the incident had been exaggerated. They asked why agents did not proceed with a wiretap and then seek authority later, a power that has been part of the surveillance law for years.

Two of the soldiers, from the 10th Mountain Division in Fort Drum, N.Y., remain missing, according to Pentagon reports. A third was found killed in Iraq on May 23, 11 days after the men were captured in a raid south of Baghdad that the Army believes was carried out by al-Qaeda.

Since May, intelligence officials have cited the incident in classified discussions as evidence that surveillance laws that provide too much protection to foreign targets need to be changed.

Dead soldier – Dems says is exaggerated?

Topsecretk9 on September 28, 2007 at 8:44 PM

Reyes — who doesn’t even know the difference between Sunni and Shia says of course he thinks it was the administration’s fault – tell me, why is the dummy is even on the intelligence committee?

Topsecretk9 on September 28, 2007 at 8:50 PM

don’t violate the terrorist rights even if americans have to die .

Mojack420 on September 28, 2007 at 8:57 PM

the notion that Democrats think a US soldier’s death is an “exaggeration”, I guess hearing the consequences of that is just a little to much for Leahy’s precious little ears —

“I hope we will not hear anymore irresponsible rhetoric about congressional inquiries risking Americans’ safety,” Leahy told McConnell at a hearing. “Our job is to protect Americans’ security and Americans’ rights.”

Leahy, noting appearances that McConnell has made before other legislative committees, said that he has “concerns about some of the statements” he has made in the past.

“I have been accused of exaggerating the threats,” McConnell told lawmakers. “Allow me to dispel that notion. The threats we face are real, and they are serious.”

Patrick Leahy. Bastard.

Topsecretk9 on September 28, 2007 at 9:06 PM

Insanity.

definatly

trailortrash on September 28, 2007 at 9:06 PM

trailortrash on September 28, 2007 at 9:06 PM

couldn’t have put it better myself…un-freaking-believable!

mscott82 on September 28, 2007 at 9:18 PM

How can anyone who is not an enemy of the United States defend this lunacy?

And to turn this around a bit, if Americans were using, say, Japanese servers, would it be okay to listen in on their conversations without a warrant? After all, it’s the server that matters.

Buy Danish on September 28, 2007 at 9:39 PM

The cowardly democraps will not act like patriots until giant mushroom clouds dot the horizon. They are not fit to lead or hold office.

Zorro on September 28, 2007 at 9:56 PM

Well I’m going to bring this example back up again.
When the old couple that were out for a sunday drive,accidently as they claim overheard Newt,and at the time Newt was talking strategy.They just happened to have listened in and by some miracle had a tape recorder.
After they taped Newt’s conversation they claimed to have a duty and turned it over to the DNC.
So are Liberals worring about peoples rights,or are they just p!ssed !ff that their the ones not doing the surveillance!

canopfor on September 28, 2007 at 10:20 PM

Hey Bryan, the link for Ace doesn’t work. It only goes to a picture of the screen cap.

Troy Rasmussen on September 28, 2007 at 10:39 PM

I don’t think FISA needs to be scrapped. It should be updated, and that is what the USA PATRIOT Act was supposed to do. The FISA Court is a necessary check on the gov’t to protect our civil liberties. I am currently working on a paper regarding the impact that section 215 of the Act has on First Amendment rights that we enjoy in libraries. I have found that most of the screaming about librarians forced to hand over records, while true, is distorted beyond what the FBI is actually allowed to do.

Sorry, that’s a little of topic I guess.

Troy Rasmussen on September 28, 2007 at 10:44 PM

P.S. I just noticed that Allah is not around. I hope he is just on vacation. Details anyone?

Troy Rasmussen on September 28, 2007 at 10:45 PM

P.S. I just noticed that Allah is not around. I hope he is just on vacation. Details anyone?

Troy Rasmussen on September 28, 2007 at 10:45 PM

I seem to remember that durng the live blogging event Bryan mentioned that Allah was out sick

William Amos on September 28, 2007 at 11:02 PM

When the old couple that were out for a sunday drive,accidently as they claim overheard Newt,and at the time Newt was talking strategy.They just happened to have listened in and by some miracle had a tape recorder.
After they taped Newt’s conversation they claimed to have a duty and turned it over to the DNC.
So are Liberals worring about peoples rights,or are they just p!ssed !ff that their the ones not doing the surveillance!

Right, so why are the Dems so afraid of wiretaps with foreigners, who are they talking to?

I seem to remember that durng the live blogging event Bryan mentioned that Allah was out sick

Get well soon Allah, meanwhile Bryan is doing an excellent job holding down the fort — as always.

Topsecretk9 on September 28, 2007 at 11:22 PM

Troy Rasmussen on September 28, 2007 at 10:45 PM

He volunteered for some torture.

By dentist.

RushBaby on September 29, 2007 at 12:12 AM

(So the story goes)

RushBaby on September 29, 2007 at 12:13 AM

After this story, if you don’t feel like vomitting, there’s something wrong with you.

I think I’ll join AP in the sick category.

TheEJS on September 29, 2007 at 12:39 AM

(D) Reyes, libs like you created that beaurocracy, and they had to follow it otherwise CNN and the MSM would be all over us again for “screwing up”. Congratulations, you libs could be the very reason those soldiers are dead instead of rescued.

Troy Rasmussen Good luck on that paper. Let us know if your professor tries to persecute you in anyway.

Fellas, I am telling you, that is only the tip of the iceberg we have to endure and go thru out there. It really is worse than being a regular cop.

El Guapo on September 29, 2007 at 12:43 AM

P.S. I just noticed that Allah is not around. I hope he is just on vacation. Details anyone?

Troy Rasmussen on September 28, 2007 at 10:45 PM

I believe he’s having some dental surgery. That can’t be pleasant.

mojojojo on September 29, 2007 at 1:28 AM

mojojojo

Try getting all of your wisdom teathe pulled at once by someone being supervised because they are working on their “qualifications”. God bless military medicine.

Good luck Allahpundit.

El Guapo on September 29, 2007 at 1:37 AM

Chairman Reyes, LIKE ALL DEMOCRATS, doesn’t care about American lives. It’s all about BUsh.

THEY, the Democratic leadership, and the ACLU are costing American lives and are doing for partisan political gain, and I personally think they should be on trial for treason.

georgej on September 29, 2007 at 1:39 AM

georgej

Only 20 years from now will that be finally revealed. Just like Soros’s funding for the overthrow of democracy and all American used to stand for (plus his corrupt campaign financing of Democrats).

Sad fact: the guys crying about the patriot act being unconstitutional, are probably going to be the first ones to be decapitated or blown up when radical islam shows its ugly face here like it has in the ME, Asia, and Europe, since they represent the gays and non-religious.

El Guapo on September 29, 2007 at 1:59 AM

Troy Rasmussen on September 28, 2007 at 10:44 PM

Don’t forget to include how the very idea of secret courts violates the Constitution of the United States of America.

Nonfactor on September 29, 2007 at 5:00 AM

Nonfactor-

…violates the Constitution of the United States…

During wartime, security trumps suicidal adherence to the strict letter of the law.

The Constitution need not allow its own (and our) destruction by pretending that our enemies do not sometimes require bending the (purposely flexible) rules.

See: Lincoln, Civil War; Wilson, WW I, FDR, WWII; Truman, WW II; Truman/Eisenhower, Korean War; etc.
Better to debate the “violations” after you survive than toe the line so purely that you end up dead, but smug.

profitsbeard on September 29, 2007 at 9:47 AM

During wartime, security trumps suicidal adherence to the strict letter of the law.

profitsbeard on September 29, 2007 at 9:47 AM

And that’s the problem. Too many people really don’t get it…that we’re actually at war.

JetBoy on September 29, 2007 at 10:41 AM

trailortrash on September 28, 2007 at 9:06 PM

couldn’t have put it better myself…un-freaking-believable!

mscott82 on September 28, 2007 at 9:18 PM

You guys are both wrong, this is what passes for rational sane though among liberals.

doriangrey on September 29, 2007 at 11:27 AM

profitsbeard on September 29, 2007 at 9:47 AM

All the more reason for a politician to keep us in a perpetual war state, right? Who wouldn’t want more power?

And I love how anecdotes like that are created out of convenience. “It’s okay to violate the very fabric this country was based upon if we’re at war (and it doesn’t even have to be a declared war).”

Nonfactor on September 29, 2007 at 1:19 PM

Troy Rasmussen Good luck on that paper. Let us know if your professor tries to persecute you in anyway.

My professor rocks! I have no idea what his political persuasion is and I’ve taken three classes from him. He is the epitome of what a professor should present in class. He is also a HUGE Con Law Geek. He wrote a Q/A for Constitutional Law. I can’t wait for next semester when he teaches First Amendment.

During wartime, security trumps suicidal adherence to the strict letter of the law.

The Constitution need not allow its own (and our) destruction by pretending that our enemies do not sometimes require bending the (purposely flexible) rules.

See: Lincoln, Civil War; Wilson, WW I, FDR, WWII; Truman, WW II; Truman/Eisenhower, Korean War; etc.
Better to debate the “violations” after you survive than toe the line so purely that you end up dead, but smug.

profitsbeard on September 29, 2007 at 9:47 AM

Precisely. In fact, not only is the Constitution not a “suicide pact,” but the Congress and the President are constitutionally bound to protect and defend this country and its citizens. If another attack happens on our soil, the fault can be laid directly at the feet of Congress and the Executive.

Don’t forget to include how the very idea of secret courts violates the Constitution of the United States of America.

Nonfactor on September 29, 2007 at 5:00 AM

Take a gander at the text of the Constitution, Nonfactor. It might help you to understand how our gov’t is supposed to defend this country. Furthermore, the FISA Courts have been held to be constitutional by the SCOTUS for decades now. Try again.

Troy Rasmussen on September 29, 2007 at 2:43 PM

Nonfactor-

I think somebody attacked us.

Don’t you remember?

All of this “perpetual state of war” silliness is just that.

What specific impact has this “perpetual” war had on your privacy?

Can’t chat with a jihadist in Syria freely?

Can’t take out copies of “The Anarchist’s Cookbook” from the lending library with the ease you wish?

We are in the freest country on Earth and enjoy the greatest degree of legal security, where our Constitutional liberties are concerned, so the faux worrying about any “perpetual war” power grab theory strikes me as one more absurd bit of politicized mock-paranoia.

But, even if some liberties were temporarily-infringed for the survival of the nation, once it has survived the assaults of terroristic Islamic imperialism, we can revoke those pragmatic infringements (as Lincoln’s haebus corpus ruling was changed back to its peacetime status after the Civil War ended) and return to peacetime footing’s full liberties.

Abuses have happened (Sedition Laws, etc.) during past Administrations, but we always corrected our mistakes.

You’re ignoring the core strength of our people by assuming that we would kowtow to a crypto-dictatorship. And minimizing the fact that we are a freedom-loving country that wants to remain alive, first, and then debate the legal nicities, second.

We can kill jihadis and chew gum at the same time.

profitsbeard on September 29, 2007 at 9:23 PM

What specific impact has this “perpetual” war had on your privacy?

You don’t get it. And I bet you call yourself a conservative. It doesn’t matter whether or not it affects me or will affect me in the future. It’s a matter of principle, a matter of rights guaranteed to everyone in our Constitution. But if immense government intrusion is okay with you it must be right, right?

We are in the freest country on Earth

I smell a fallacy. Nobody is debating this, but I must commend you for getting in some free points and racking up your America cred.

When does the war end? When it does will you support the dismemberment of FISA? I’m not paranoid that the government is attempting to grab all the power they can, it’s already happening. And don’t use the excuse of a terrorist attack to turn yourself into a “big Government” type of guy.

Abuses have happened (Sedition Laws, etc.) during past Administrations, but we always corrected our mistakes.

As I’m sure we’ll correct our current mistakes, but until then I’m free to criticize this abuse as much as I so choose.

We can kill jihadis and chew gum at the same time.

profitsbeard on September 29, 2007 at 9:23 PM

How simplistic.

Nonfactor on September 29, 2007 at 10:08 PM