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U.S. Rep. John Conyers: Setting the Record Straight on FISA

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 12:56 PM
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U.S. Rep. John Conyers: Setting the Record Straight on FISA
from HuffPost:




Rep. John Conyers
Setting the Record Straight on FISA
Posted December 5, 2007 | 12:34 PM (EST)



In recent weeks, there has been lot of conflicting information floating around about efforts by House Democrats to protect the country by adopting rules for intelligence gathering that are both flexible and constitutional. This week, President Bush suggested that my legislative alternative to this summer's hastily-enacted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) reform, the "Protect America Act," would take away important tools from our intelligence community. He characterized as "obstruction" the skepticism that many of us have about granting amnesty to telecommunications carriers who may have cooperated in warrantless surveillance. I was disappointed that the President did not propose any concrete steps to improve our capabilities or protect our freedoms -- he just repeated his demand for immunity.

This comes close on the heels of a recent controversy concerning the House Democrats' FISA legislation stemming from Joe Klein's column in Time Magazine on November 21st, in which his Republican sources seem to have spun a tale that led Mr. Klein to characterize our efforts as "more than stupid."

I believe that it is time for a comprehensive and detailed response to the President's accusations of obstruction, the misinformation in the Time Magazine column, and the debate over warrantless surveillance. Below is that response. Please let me know what you think, and feel free to pass along to your friends and colleagues.

Joe Klein's recent column deriding the House-passed FISA legislation, along with his subsequent stumbling efforts to clarify its intent, and Time Magazine's failure to publish the protests my Democratic colleagues and I had regarding its many inaccuracies are only the most recent manifestation of disinformation put forth concerning the Bush Administration's warrantless surveillance program and legislative efforts to modify the law. As the lead author, along with Silvestre Reyes, of the RESTORE Act, allow me to set the record straight once and for all.

First, contrary to GOP and media spin, the RESTORE Act does not grant "terrorists the same rights as Americans." Section 105A of the RESTORE Act explicitly provides that foreign-to-foreign communications are totally exempt from FISA - clearly, this exception for foreigners such as members of Al Qaeda does not apply to Americans. In cases involving foreign agents where communications with Americans could be picked up, Section 105B of the legislation provides for liberalized "basket warrant" procedures by which entire terrorist organizations can be surveilled without the need to obtain individual warrants from the FISA court. Again, this new authority is aimed at foreign terrorists, not Americans. ......(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-conyers/setting-the-...



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BelgianMadCow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 01:08 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks. Conyers has my respect.
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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-05-07 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. You're welcome......
and d'accord.
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