House vote on FISA

While the rest of the world was otherwise occupied, the House voted 301-118 on Wednesday to extend FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Act) another five years. At a glance, you can tell that the numbers 301-118 represent a bipartisan decision. Yes, the two parties that have made an art-form out of disagreeing, do agree that warrant-less wiretapping is a good thing for America. (Check here to see how your Representative voted.)

We can breath a sigh of relief that it is still illegal to target Americans on American soil. But if they miss their target and hit something else, it’s fair game.

According to MoJo:

The bill “allows the bulk suspicionless collection of communications coming into and out of the United States,” explains Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union. “While the proponents always point out we’re targeting the overseas end and those people don’t have Fourth Amendment rights, the Americans and other people in the US on the other end of that call, or email or Skype, do have Fourth Amendment rights.”

See, the law allows the government to collect communications between individuals abroad who are interacting with people in the United States. In other words, the government can get around Americans’ Fourth Amendment rights against search and seizure by “targeting” the communications of a foreigner who just happens to be communicating with someone in the United States. They’re not supposed to deliberately exploit the loophole to get around the Fourth Amendment, but once they use it to get information, they can keep it, even if they find out that they were spying on an American citizen after the fact.

I know, if you’re not doing anything wrong, you have nothing to worry about. You can trust them.


40 Responses

  1. 10…..9…..8….

  2. Yep, we can trust them. Both parties have our interest at heart and both parties have always done what they can for the little guys like us. They are just modernizing that old constitution yellowed paperwork to bring it up to date for a modern world. Why should we have freedoms? We don’t need no stinking freedoms. We will do as we are told to do by our overlords, be they blue or red. Father knows best what his silly little girls need and we shouldn’t worry our pretty little heads about it.

    And the dish ran away with the freaking spoon.

    What did Hillary the candidate say about FISA? Was she dead on and right on the money? You bet your PUMA ass she did!

  3. Hillary Clinton, July 9, 2008 on FISA:

    I cannot support this legislation when we know neither the nature of the surveillance activities authorized nor the role played by telecommunications companies granted immunity.

    Congress must vigorously check and balance the president even in the face of dangerous enemies and at a time of war. That is what sets us apart. And that is what is vital to ensuring that any tool designed to protect us is used — and used within the law — for that purpose and that purpose alone. I believe my responsibility requires that I vote against this compromise, and I will continue to pursue reforms that will improve our ability to collect intelligence in our efforts to combat terror and to oversee that authority in Congress.

  4. Indeed imust and we still don’t know “the nature of the surveillance activities authorized.”

    Yes, she was dead on and right on the money!

  5. Yes she was “right on the money”, Sophie. She usually is, and that’s what real leadership looks like, isn’t it?

  6. More from that MoJo article:

    How often does the personal information of American citizens get collected while the government is ostensibly targeting non-Americans? The government won’t say. Two senators, Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), sent a letter to the National Security Agency asking how often the agency collects information on Americans while it’s technically “targeting” foreigners’ communications. The NSA’s answer, as Spencer Ackerman of Wired put it, was that it would violate Americans’ privacy for the NSA to acknowledge how often it spies on them.

    (emphasis mine.)

  7. OT, just watched most of the Rachel Maddow clip that was linked yesterday. If this is accurate then, wow, just wow. The secret service is going to have a lot of work to do on this one.

    ((((UPPS))))) I find it hard to watch her normally but when you recommend something it goes without saying that it is a must see.

  8. Unbelievable that they can still do this. What do we have to do to get this crap rolled back? Oh wait…I almost forgot, at the small airport where my mom lives, they are no longer requiring kids under 12 and adults over 70 to remove their shoes when going through security. Wow. Huge progress. (snark) We really live in a different world now.

  9. Omg. They just showed Satanorum on the news, blathering his usual bs. Why is this clown even remotely relevant anymore? Oh, I also saw that the fool Akin is beating Claire whatshername in the polls in MO. Freaky.

  10. socal, ever since the drumbeat to the War On Terrah (because they hate our freedoms), we’ve lost more freedom through the likes of the Patriot Act, FISA, NDAA, and the TSA. The very people who want government to be small enough to flush down a toilet and think deregulation is the answer to almost every problem have ironically increased the amount of government interference in our free lives and have regulated the crap out of ordinary citizens.

  11. Thank you SophieCT,

    …for keeping us fully aware of not only how hard it is these days to differentiate bi-partisan votes from the partisan one’s, but why Hillary Clinton was such a threat to the Boyz on both sides of the isle who love having power and control over their Sheeple. 😉

  12. FISA is something both facist parties have had the habit of forcing upon us. If this doesn’t tell you something, i don’t know what does.

  13. Claire should have been losing even if a green plant were running. She’s not losing because the Republicans simply cannot stop churning out crazy theocratic vagina-sniffing assholes for candidates. As for Santorum, I repeat the last half of the last sentence. Serves them right. Works for me, since I am hoping there is a split congress so that whichever highly over-rated man wins, he won’t get too much of his extremist agenda shit done.

  14. What a pity we can’t have Independents winning.

  15. As you might recall, our titular president himself voted for FISA during the primaries in 2008 (or sometime in 2008) so the Kossacks can complain all they want, they got the shitbag they asked for who supports FISA and drones flying over your ass if he so chooses too. Republicans have always supported things like FISA and PAtriot Act, so it should be no surprise except to now understand that both parties are joined at the hip with playing your Big Brother for life.

    Like I said, his next move will be drones over Egypt and Libya. he wants everyone to love him while he kills them.

  16. You forgot to mention UW Obama promised to filibuster FISA. Had it on his campaign website and everything, right up until the day he vote for it and Hillary against it. Then it vanishes and the bots started making all manner of excuses and it we we elected him he would repeal it. ROFL!!!

  17. Well, the Pope is imploring “Muslims and Christians to work together against violence and war.”

    Looks like he was saving that unspoken Pedophiles in the Priesthood public statement for more important “global” matters:

    “Tell your families and friends back home that the pope has not forgotten you. Tell those around you that the pope is saddened by your sufferings and your grief.”

  18. Here’s what candidate Obama said when he voted FOR it and Hillary voted against it in 2008:

    Given the choice between voting for an improved yet imperfect bill, and losing important surveillance tools, I’ve chosen to support the current compromise. I do so with the firm intention — once I’m sworn in as President — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

    And here’s what Obama said on Sept. 10, 2012:

    The Administration strongly supports H.R. 5949. The bill would reauthorize Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which expires at the end of this year. Title VII of FISA allows the Intelligence Community to collect vital foreign intelligence information about international terrorists and other important targets overseas, while providing protection for the civil liberties and privacy of Americans. Intelligence collection under Title VII has produced and continues to produce significant information that is vital to defend the Nation against international terrorism and other threats. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to ensure the continued availability of this critical intelligence capability.

  19. right up until the day he vote for it and Hillary against it.

    And the Kossacks said she cast a politicized vote to make Barry look bad. Ayup.

  20. once I’m sworn in as President — to have my Attorney General conduct a comprehensive review of all our surveillance programs, and to make further recommendations on any steps needed to preserve civil liberties and to prevent executive branch abuse in the future.

    Wah Lah!

    …Fast & Furious?
    …Drones Across America?
    …Obama’s Cybersecurity Act of 2012 (failed to pass)

    And the Kossacks said she cast a politicized vote to make Barry look bad. Ayup.


  21. Hillary knew in July of 08 that a President Barry would be no different than a President Bush her vote showed Obie just how much she trusted him…….which would be….not.

  22. Yeah and I think that FISA vote was in June, besides. Right in everybody’s face.

  23. The pope needs to run the vatican and not the USA. If Hillary were president, she would have told him as much, I am SURE, much to the happiness of about 90% of Catcholics.

  24. Well they asked for him and they got him. I blame every one of that so-called’creative class’ for not being very creative. Or smart. If Hillary were president right now, we wouldn’t be staring at these clowns and wincing at their candidacy, and the R’s would have already spent four years dragging out 15 years of tattered graphics on her. And the Kossacks would be back in their fringe parties besides. American rights wouldn’t be trampled on and she would have made the congressional and state gay bashers and woman sniffers look like the assholes they are. They’d be shoving their bills up their asses.

  25. socal I am hoping that this year the most people vote third party than ever before and I hope it screws the loser big time.

  26. Me too Upps.

    Re: the Popes statement, is the Syrian Ortho Church under the pope? I think the Syrian church is a little different from the other ortho churches (Greek, Russian, etc) which are run by a group of bishops, but I don’t think any of them are under the pope. One of the things that doesn’t get much air time here is the level of persecution that the muslims deal to the Christians in their countries, many of whom are descendants of ancient Christian families and ancient churches that were in these lands before Islam.

  27. When I saw that the new and improved FISA thing passed, and found out about AT&T’s little room in S.F., I started sending emails from one of my email addys to another with OBAMA SUCKS in the subj line and the text was just repeating that phrase for about 20 lines or so.

    Just my little form of protest.

  28. Back to football games for me. See y’all later.

  29. socal I know a lot of Syrian and Lebanese people who are Catholic and they attend a Maronite (sp?)Catholic church. Some of their parents and grandparents left their countries to escape, last thing they planned on being was Muslim.

  30. The Russian and Maronite churches are led by a “Patriarch”. Apparently they remain faithful to the pope but not sure they are ruled by him. I see youtubes of their visits to the pope in 2011.

  31. The church thing is complicated isn’t it?

    fredster, trojans about to begin. My doods are acting all nutty.

  32. Anyway, Upps, thanks for that link. Very interesting. One of my former step brothers married a Christian Syrian girl, and he joined the Greek Ortho church so they could get married at a Greek church here in L.A. I could never figure out why she was part of the Greek church becuz she wasn’t of Greek descent. Maybe there isn’t a Maronite here.

  33. btw, when I said “air time here” I meant the msm, not this site. 🙂

  34. My blood is boiling once again. Hell, it has been boiling since 2002. I should be used to it by now. I didn’t realize they reauthorized the warantless wiretapping/surveillance program again. I never thought they would repeal it and the yahoos – including my mensa brother-in-law and the sister he married, as well as the other brothers and their wives are still defending His vote even tho they damned the program when it was first proposed by the Bushies . And even tho Hillary voted against it – they defended BHO and not her.

    Yup it still burns. And now i’m going to shut down my computer because I’m just that po’d.


  35. LOL Leslie. So happy to help ruin your day!

  36. You is a evil woman Uppity! 😆

  37. From a link at the BBC website:

    We need to reflect the true identity of Muslims, how peaceful they are, and talk to the Western media about the true heart of the Muslims, that they condemn violence”

    Hisham Qandil Egyptian Prime Minister

    Okay, I’m ready to vomit now.

  38. Judge Katherine B. Forrest (SDNY) ruled in Hedges v. Obama that the detention authority in Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act violated free speech and free association and was unconstitutionally vague. Judge Forrest issued a permanent injunction against its enforcement.

    The ruling comes nearly four months after Judge Forrest issued a temporary injunction in the same case. The ruling means that the government cannot use Section 1021 as authority for military detention–at least in the Southern District, if not beyond–and it warns the government strongly against using the AUMF instead. Judge Forrest wrote that the AUMF never authorized the kind of detention authorized in Section 1021–that Section 1021 is a new and different kind of detention authority–undermining the government’s claim that the AUMF allowed this all along. According to Judge Forrest, it didn’t. And still doesn’t. The ruling thus not only strikes Section 1021; it also strikes at the government’s sweeping theory of detention under the AUMF itself. Needless to say, the ruling is a huge victory for opponents of limitless and military detention without trial. link

    Small favors to have a constitution to live by…

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