The FISA Amendment Act, currently before the Senate Judiciary Committee, would amend the questionable Protect America Act, absolving the telecoms, the president and all the others in his administration involved in the illicit wiretapping activities retroactive immunity. Two federal judges have already found that the Protect America Act is unconstitutional.
In spite of President Bush’s hissy fits and demands for retroactive immunity protecting telecoms involved in more than 40 lawsuits related to illegal surveillance, using threats, deceitful and unethical propaganda and fear-mongering to feed his fantasy of being above the law, some key U.S. Senators are reportedly reluctant to offer it…they’re thinking of making the taxpayers pick up the legal bills instead.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT.) and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA.), the co-chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee said they still don’t have enough information to decide whether it’s wise or not to immunize past assistance by the telecoms to a wide variety of U.S. agencies over the past six years.
Earlier this summer, Congress and the Senate quickly approved an amendment making it easier for the government to get information with no oversight (technically, it’s ‘monitored internally’ which is the same thing) for six months, set to expire on February 1, 2008.