One of the sad, lasting legacies of the previous administration was the destruction of personal liberty and privacy which followed in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Washington began treating everyone as a suspect, prying into private phone conversations and recording your every move. Unfortunately, though he’s been out of office for more than four years and working with injured veterans on a remote Texas ranch, George W. Bush continues to hold America under his intrusive thumb.
Congress approved a measure Friday that would renew expansive U.S. surveillance authority for five more years, rejecting objections from senators who are concerned the legislation does not adequately protect Americans’ privacy.
The bill passed the Senate 73 to 23…
The lopsided Senate vote authorized a continuation of the government’s ability to eavesdrop on communications inside the United States involving foreign citizens without obtaining a specific warrant for each case.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out how Bush pulled this one off. (I mean, it has to be his fault, right? It couldn’t be the Democrats.) Seventy five votes in the Senate? When the Democrats have more than half the seats and the Majority Leader’s chair? Democrats hate this stuff! It’s the destruction of the American dream. But we can at least take some comfort knowing that President Obama will swat this down like a diseased tsetse fly.
The House approved it in September and President Obama is expected to sign it before the current authority expires on Monday.
Everything old is new again I suppose. The FISA Amendments Act was one of the mostly hotly debated bones of contention in its day, and Democrats made hay over it for a couple of election cycles. But now that they’ve got their hands on the tiller? It’s business as usual, baby.