FISA Fleecing and Fear-Mongering Continues

President Bush stepped up┬áhis rhetoric this morning at a press conference while utilizing the usual lies and fear tactics in his attempts to coerce Congress into passing an illegal law to keep his illegal activities covered up — at the cost of individual rights and privacy.

What makes the situation even more pathetic — albeit slightly amusing — for the Republicans in the House and the Senate is the fact that they’re whining because the telecoms aren’t giving them money for selling out Americans and the Constitution.

Noted in the PA Editors Blog: “In Congress, Senate Republicans led by Mitch McConnell and John McCain threatened to filibuster and George W. Bush threatened to veto a FISA extension that did not have an immunity clause for corporations who broke the law.

In other words, by Bush-McCain-Republican logic it is wrong for the Democrats to risk national security, but it is OK for them to risk American lives in order to ensure that a few corporations get immunity for breaking the law and passing your private information on to the federal government.”

Noted by the ACLU: “As for getting the help of these companies in the future, the president conveniently fails to mention that the companies will have immunity if they follow the law – namely FISA. For years, the telephone companies knowingly violated that law and should be held accountable. Because the administration does not want this lawlessness aired publicly, Bush is trying to prevent the courts from doing their job and is now goading Congress to bait them into aiding his administration’s cover-up. A full and public airing of the facts is necessary and overdue. The bottom line in all of these cases is that these giant companies must be held accountable for violating the law and dissuaded from violating the law in the future.”

“The president continues to misrepresent the situation with FISA. Fear mongering and making unsubstantiated claims of lost intelligence does not help Congress reach a resolution. President Bush’s concerns can only be taken as seriously as his actions. Let’s not forget the facts – the Protect America Act expired because he flatly refused to sign a second extension. House Democrats should be lauded for standing strong on their principles and supporting the Constitution. The president can’t have it both ways. He can’t dig his heels in and then complain that nothing is moving. The president will have to lie in the bed he made while he waits for Congress to finish its job.”

While I don’t know if there has been one legitimate ‘terrorist’ captured or convicted as a result of the illegal spying, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) reports that 917,000 terrorists are poised and ready to strike America — at least according to the No Fly List maintained by the government. To show how reliable the No Fly List is, see the report from CBS detailing unlikely terrorists on the list, including a former president of Bolivia who died. With results like that, it’s no wonder the president is getting desperate.

President Bush keeps repeating that what the Telecoms did was legal, but continues to insist on keeping it secret and refuses to show Congress or the public. What’s wrong with this picture? If the telecoms did nothing wrong and the spying was legal, prove it. Apparently he can’t seem to understand that he, as well as the vast majority of his administration, have no credibility left, and very little public trust.

An article from Wired.com titled ‘Secret Spy Ruling Contaminates Debate’ does a good job of detailing some of the rulings from FISA judges concerning the illegality of the spying.

There is more than ample evidence of the crimes committed by this administration, but they continue to go unpunished.

On a personal note, it would be nice if the news stations on the radio would quit interrupting regular programming so they can air the redundant rhetoric of the president — unless by some miracle it becomes possible for the president to tell the truth for a change. Several of us are sick and tired of hearing the same unconvincing lies over and over from a man whose whole presidency has been based on lies.

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