Apr 15 2007

What Will Dems Do With Our National Security?

Published by at 8:47 am under All General Discussions,FISA-NSA

President Bush has proposed new parameters for our national security which expand, not restrict as some dems would prefer, the surveillance of potential terrorist risks. The changes in some cases are simple common sense:

Currently, under the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, individuals have to be associated with a foreign terrorism suspect or a foreign power to fall under the auspices of the FISA court, which can grant the authority to institute federal surveillance. The White House proposes expanding potential targets to include non-citizens believed to possess, transmit or receive important foreign intelligence information, as well as those engaged in the United States in activities related to the purchase or development of weapons of mass destruction.

The requirement to show someone is associated with a known or recognized terrorist organization as a minimal requirement beyond the evidence of dangerous intent is ridiculous. The minimal sufficient concern is the hint of dangerous intent, not a link to al Qaeda. This loop hole is too simple for even the dumbest terrorist to bypass by simply using shifting code names for their terrorist associations (and that is if they disclose the associations at all!).

This will be a serious test for Democrats in Congress to indicate whether they are serious about defending us Americans against terrorist attack or not. The key is the intent of the actions, not the supporting organization and whether it exists on some government list.

Other provisions are much more controversial and I would like to see more boundaries or conditions are their implementation:

The proposed revisions to FISA would also allow the government to keep information obtained “unintentionally,” unrelated to the purpose of the surveillance, if it “contains significant foreign intelligence.” Currently such information is destroyed unless it indicates threat of death or serious bodily harm.

There must be some reason this is coming up. Possibly the situation where early surveillance turned up something that was, at the time, deemed irrelevant which later proved critical and was then lost. I could see information for some time period (6-18 months) before purging the irrelevant data. And I could see a process where a judge or someone is asked if information could be retained beyond these dates given reasonable cause and concern. But the open ended holding of incidental information is too much in my opinion.

Of course, it is hard to tell what the reality is when reading news media reporting. It is so slanted and full of errors it is now impossible to make informed decisions on news reports alone. But that is the result of the destruction of our free press to partisan hacks. Another great component of this is to remove risk from companies forced to support our national security (always under court supported processes)

And they provide for compelling telecommunications companies and e-mail providers to cooperate with investigations while protecting them from being sued by their subscribers. The legal protection would be applied retroactively to those companies that cooperated with the government after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

We cannot allow malcontents and terrorist sympathizers to neuter our national security through civil law suits aimed at those folllowing legal actions of our government. This aspect must pass, and if fought we can finally determine the Dems do not care about national security and protecting Americans – only about those loons at the ACLU. The vendetta driven media is upset that the legal surveillance program they exposed to our enemies is not being addressed:

The proposed changes do not address the controversial intelligence program, initiated in October 2001 and first disclosed in December 2005, that monitors communications between people in the United States and other countries when one party is suspected of having terrorist connections, according to senior administration officials.

The reason this is not addressed is it is legal and now covered by judicial concurrence from the FISA Court itself. The liberal media and their traiterous leakers in the Congress (assuming that is where the leak came from) lost on this issue for all time. When the FISA Court approved of the program and processes surrounding it that ended the debate. But the liberals cannot accept they are wrong so they continue to rail against a program that has only saved lives here and in Europe as attacks have been stopped before they can kill anyone.

Will Democrats fight the efforts of our government to stop terrorist attacks? If they do why would anyone vote for them again? Here is another overview of the Bill and its goals. I am surprised this key legislation is not at the top of every news program and product. It is only a matter of life and death after all.

Addendum: One aspect I found interesting in looking at the last link (which is closer to real reporting the essence of the Bill so Americans can decide, as opposed to the WaPo spin machine) is this tidbit:

-Protecting civil liberties and privacy interests and improving our intelligence capabilities by focusing FISA on people located in the United States.

-Revolutions in telecommunications technology have brought within FISA’s scope communications that Congress did not intend to be covered—and, as a result, extensive resources are now expended obtaining court approval for acquiring communications that do not directly or substantially involve the privacy interests of Americans. Restoring FISA to its original focus will enhance our intelligence capabilities while allowing the Intelligence Community to devote more resources to protecting the privacy interests of people in the United States.

What this tells me is over the decades since FISA was enacted, bureacratic nonsense and mission creep set in (akin to the Gorelick Wall which made the coordination of national security and local law enforcement some kind of evil mix instead of commons sense interactions) which diverted FISA from its core mission. I can tell you without hesitation that it is nearly a given the FISA Court judges, or the head judge, have weighed in on this. So I would suspect this refocusing of FISA to protect Americans and people here in this country and to get out of the spying business is probably a much needed set of changes. And this is clearly a systemic problem that helped the 9-11 highjackers avoid detection. There is no other reason to have the changes in place.

Reading through this I can see the Democrats will pay a heavy price if their paranoid delusions about Bush and the Right Wing take over of America clouds their minds and they oppose this needed Bill. And given past history over this first few months in charge in Congress it is also clear to me they will pay that price because their BDS is so overwhelming they will even risk American lives to oppose President Bush.

One response so far

One Response to “What Will Dems Do With Our National Security?”

  1. BarbaraS says:

    Even if the dims pass this legislation they will put in their pet wants like minimum wage and lots of pork which will force Bush to sign it as the lessor of two evils. The dims have no shame. They will jetison our national security in their desire for power. They always have and they always will. They have tunnel vision and regard the republicans as the enemy instead of the terrorists. Everything falls by the wayside in their quest for power. Republicans who were disgusted with the pork the republicans put through while they were in power should be satisfied now with the dims’ military appropriations bill and 24 billion in pork. The republicans never aimed that high. The rupublicans should have granted the President line item veto when they were in power. We wouldn’t have this trouble with the military appropriations bill now if they had done so.