Sunday, February 26, 2006

This Law Sounds Oddly Familiar

From Unclaimed Territory - by Glenn Greenwald: Specter proposes a new law -- something called "FISA":

This article from today's Washington Post is nothing short of surreal:

"The federal government would have to obtain permission from a secret court to continue a controversial form of surveillance, which the National Security Agency now conducts without warrants, under a bill being proposed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.)."...

It is, of course, so disorientingly bizarre to hear about a proposed law requiring FISA warrants for eavesdropping because we already have a law in place which does exactly that. It's called FISA. That's the law the Administration has been deliberately breaking because they think they don't have to comply with it and that Congress has no power to make them. Reading this article about Specter's proposed legislation is somewhat like hearing that a life-long, chronic bank-robber got arrested for robbing a bank over the weekend and, in response, a Senator introduces legislation to make it a crime to rob banks....

I actually think that the Administration's theories vesting George Bush with law-breaking powers are so radical and dangerous that people like Specter can't get themselves to actually accept that the Administration has really embraced these theories and is living them. Notwithstanding the fact that the Administration has expressly advocated these positions in numerous instances in many different contexts over several years now, it's as though people in Congress -- and the media -- think they're not really serious about believing them. I wonder what else needs to be revealed about the Administration's law-breaking for people to start realizing that this Administration really does not only believe that George Bush has these law-breaking powers, but also that they have been exercising those powers for quite some time now and have vowed to continue to do so.

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