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View Diary: FISA Fight: Is it that hard? (59 comments)

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  •  That's not the real argument (5+ / 0-)

    The law is exceedingly flexible. It has been updated to cover e-mail and cell phones. There are provisions to allow for lawful surveillance at practically a moment's notice as long as the warrant paperwork is provided within 72 hours.

    They have all the immunity they need going forward by cooperating when they are presented with a warrant.

    There is no national security argument for retroactive amnesty. That's why they're trying to rely on fear.

    •  telecomms would be liable for rejected warrants (0+ / 0-)

      Under FISA, without the Bush revisions, the government can go ahead and start the tap in case of emergency, and get the paperwork later, as you point out.

      If the paperwork is denied, there's been no govt wrongdoing, under the doctrine of sovereign immunity.

      That would not cover telecomms. If the govt, working on an emergency basis, asked a telecomm to cooperate, and the telecomm did so, and the warrant was rejected afterwards, the telecomms are now liable for privacy and contract violations.

      How anyone would find out about it to file the suit, I don't know. But if they did find out, they could sue. It's why Qwest supposedly refused to cooperate. (Qwest's actions seem a bit murky on this though.)

      I'm not saying I buy the argument, but I don't reject it either. Telecomm immunity to me isn't the problem here.  

      I do agree Bush's actions here are not motivated by rational security considerations, but preventing the disclosure of info regarding his lawbreaking. That can be gotten at by other means than this fight.

      I guess that's ultimately my gripe. This isn't a clear winner for the Dems. I'm not sure it's a winner at all. Might be a big loser, lots of Dems in the Senate think so. For a fact the MSM doesn't want to cover FISA at all.

      So why this issue? I submit it's because the Dems are once again too weak to target the real issues, and they're focusing on marginalia.

      •  The answer is really very simple (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Judge Moonbox, bushondrugs

        The American people do not trust this administration to do anything other than enhance the power of the Repuiblican Party and the Bush Cheney crime team at every turn.  The real answer is impeachment.

        "I know no safe depository for the ultimate power of society but the people themselves" -- Jefferson

        by TheTrucker on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 06:48:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I doubt that (0+ / 0-)

        Show me one example of a wiretap started, a request to FISA denied and an ensuing lawsuit.

        I am sure the law provides for that, as long as the government FOLLOWS THE LAW and ends the wiretap.

        01-20-09: THE END OF AN ERROR

        by kimoconnor on Sun Feb 17, 2008 at 08:18:39 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  add: why not trade immunity for info (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Involuntary Exile, TheTrucker

      Dems can conditionally grant retro immunity in exchange for all relevant docs and testimony, just like prosecutors do on a daily basis.

      Make it available only to those with clearance to counter the security argument.

      What could Bush say to that?

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