Stranger Fruit

FISA Amendments Act

I’m disappointed to note that both Harry Mitchell and Gabby Giffords joined the other 103 Democrats who voted for the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. (Ed Pastor and Raúl Grijalva voted against.) The 105 Dems have covered themselves in shame, granting immunity to telecom companies, while basically telling the American public that their privacy is not important and that the Fourth Amendment is just something written on a “goddamned piece of paper“. Every single one of them should be called to the mat by their constituents.

I’m also disappointed at Obama’s statement on the vote.


  1. #1 Serjis Werking
    June 20, 2008

    Has it occurred to anybody that this bill protects only the corporations against lawsuits? Which is to say, it protects the stockholders against losses.

    There is nothing that I know of that protects the individuals who committed crimes from being prosecuted as criminals and sent to prison. Since contractors are doing most of the work that government used to do, and since ‘all’ communication includes DoD communication, there are many people technically guilty of conducting espionage against the United States.

    I doubt that there will be a popular slogan like “Free the Telcom 10,000”.

  2. #2 Dana Hunter
    June 21, 2008

    Ah, Serjis, a glimmer of hope – but that’s not how this is going to turn out. Not now, perhaps not ever.

    I’m feeling your pain, John. Especially on Obama – I didn’t expect miracles, but I didn’t expect him to sell out quite this badly. Ah, well, at least he’ll soon be feeling the sting of a herd of progressive bloggers all applying the smackdown.

  3. #3 A
    June 26, 2008

    Even if with the FISA bill one could sue individuals, or government officials, or whoever, or Congress could do something…. we all know it is not going to happen.
    But you can at least call your Senators, to oppose it there. ( upper right corner -> Find your senator)
    From the ACLU website:
    “Urge them to oppose H.R. 6304, the unconstitutional Hoyer/Bush FISA bill….
    When you call, say something like this:
    I am a constituent calling about H.R. 6304, the Hoyer/Bush FISA bill that just passed the House of Representatives. I urge you to vote “NO” because:
    1. The Hoyer/Bush FISA bill allows for mass and untargeted surveillance of Americans’ communications.
    2. The Hoyer/Bush FISA bill contains blanket immunity. It basically guarantees lawsuits against telecom companies will be dismissed. Ongoing lawsuits may be our last best hope of exposing the extent of illegal spying.
    3. If leadership will not lead, it is the responsibility of every lawmaker to lead on this issue. You need to do what your constituents and the American people demand. Bowing to pressure from Republicans, the White House, the telecommunications companies and even Democratic leaders is unacceptable.”
    If it still passes, at least you’ve done your part to keep the Constitution alive.

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