Why Civil Liberties Don’t Come Back

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is still allowing Telecom companies to spy on Americans.

 

Senator Chris Dodd's proposed revisions to FISA were overturned today.  The primary purpose of this revision was to revoke the Retroactive Immunity telecommunications companies had for unlawfully turning over your private phone calls to the government.  What that means is that if the Fed's go asking for phone conversation records without a warrant, and the records are given up, no one gets in trouble.  Because obviously the government has a right to know about anything and everything you say and do.  

The "laws" don't mean anything though.

Dianne Feinstein's Exclusivity Amendment to the FISA bill was also overturned today.  To explain what Exclusivity means I will quote Kangro from Daily Kos:

"Exclusivity — the purpose of the amendment that "failed" — meant simply this: that the law they were passing was the law, and it was the governing authority for how surveillance could be conducted in America.

The Senate just rejected it, so that means that they're passing a law, but if a president decides later on that he thinks there's really some other controlling authority besides the law, that's OK.

The original FISA, of course, had exactly such an exclusivity provision in it. That the new revision of the law will have had that provision explicitly "rejected" can mean only one thing: that nobody will know the actual state of "the law" on surveillance, because the "law" as written might not really be "the law" at all. In fact, it could be something entirely different, and maybe even something you've never heard of — or indeed will never be allowed to hear it, because it's top secret. Or hell, you may not ever hear it because the President will make it up as he goes along. It won't matter what the reason is, in fact. All that will matter is that "the law" supposedly governing surveillance says that there may or may not be some other authority that really controls. Maybe. Maybe not! Tee hee! Isn't "law" funny?

I don't know why these people come to work at all."

While they're at it, why don't they just declare the Bush family the kings and queens of America with divine authority included in the package, and do away with this whole outdated democracy thing all together?

What really gets me about all this is that these aren't liberties that suddenly vanished as new laws are installed today… nope these are liberties that were gone as of last August when the Protect America Act was passed, and before that the USA PATRIOT act started to eat away at the American Civil Liberties.  A few of your elected officials took a stand for those rights today and were shot down in senate.  All of the Republican senators voted against the changes and several Democrats including Joe Lieberman crossed the floor to oppose them also.  Senator Obama was present and voted for the changes, although Senator Clinton was not.

I've said in the past that Civil Liberties are NEVER given back once they've been taken away.  They are a precious and endangered species that once extinct are gone forever.  It is simply not in a government's interest to give up any of the control it has over it's populace.

Information provided by Hold Fast, a Blog by Matt Hamlin

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