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Time has obtained GOP's new bill draft to address Bush's wiretapping

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sabra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:11 PM
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Time has obtained GOP's new bill draft to address Bush's wiretapping,8599,1171878,...

Can Congress Fix The Eavesdropping Mess?
The new Senate surveillance bill raises more questions than it answers

Senate Republicans have drafted a new bill to address concerns surrounding President Bush's warrantless eavesdropping on Americans, but a copy of the legislation, obtained by Time, shows it is not likely to end the controversy anytime soon. That's because even as the bill would impose some tough new restrictions on Bush's program, it would also legalize it. All of which means it will satisfy neither a White House that wants unlimited wartime power nor civil libertarians who want to prevent what they see as unwarranted electronic searches prohibited by the Constitution.

Written by Ohio's Mike DeWine, the legislation tries, in effect, to put a fence around a wild horse. It would allow warrantless wiretaps and other electronic surveillance of people linked to groups plotting terrorist acts against the United States, while making a start at restoring legislative control over a White House that claims to be above the law in times of war. And since this is simply an agreement among Senate Republicansthe bill has an uncertain future, at bestthere is no guarantee that other actors in Congress won't make the fence higher, or for that matter, lower.

The bill requires any surveillance of a suspected threat to be reviewed by either Congress or the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court within 45 days. It requires the President to submit operational details of the program and specific surveillance whenever requested by a new Congressional subcommittee, which can require answers to detailed questions. It forces the Attorney General to certify in writing and under oath every 45 days that the program accords with the restrictions laid out in the new law. It also notably removes all authorization for the program after five years.

Still, many critics of the Bush Administration and Congress argue that the entire FISA act needs to be rewritten to handle threats posed by the kind of low-lying, educated actors who perpetrated 9/11, rather than trying to tack provisions onto the existing law to account for the new danger. That is also the position of New Mexico congresswoman Heather Wilson, the chairman of the House subcommittee that oversees the eavesdropping at the National Security Agency. Wilson has been engaged in lengthy negotiations with the White House and other members of Congress over access to details of the program in advance of what she says will be her own attempt at a bill.

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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:21 PM
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1. Hmmm...legislation to make the ILLEGAL LEGAL
Eggzaktly vhere haff I herd zat before?
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Why Syzygy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-10-06 02:24 PM
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2. goddamit!!
Does anyone remember August 6, 2001? BUSH got the word. They are coming to attack. They didn't have to wiretap innocent Americans to get that information. He sat on his ranch ass and did NOTHING!

I am just so sick and gd tired of them yanking the blanket out from under US when HE (they) are the ones who did nothing but allow our home to be attacked.

Can Congress think about that?
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