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Old 08-06-2007, 11:11 AM  
Mr. Laz Mr. Laz is offline
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Congress grants president wider powers of warrantless surveillance

Congress grants president wider powers of warrantless surveillance
By CHARLES BABINGTON
The Associated Press

WASHINGTON | The House handed President Bush a victory Saturday, voting to expand the government’s abilities to eavesdrop without warrants on foreign suspects whose communications pass through the United States.

The 227-183 vote, which followed the Senate’s approval Friday, sends the bill to Bush for his signature.

Late Saturday, Bush said, “The Director of National Intelligence, Mike McConnell, has assured me that this bill gives him what he needs to continue to protect the country, and therefore I will sign this legislation as soon as it gets to my desk.”

The administration said the measure is needed to speed the National Security Agency’s ability to intercept phone calls, e-mails and other communications involving foreign nationals “reasonably believed to be outside the United States.” Civil liberties groups and many Democrats said it goes too far, possibly enabling the government to wiretap U.S. residents communicating with overseas parties without adequate oversight from courts or Congress.

The bill updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, known as FISA. It gives the government leeway to intercept, without warrants, communications between foreigners that are routed through equipment in United States, provided that “foreign intelligence information” is at stake. Bush describes the effort as an anti-terrorist program, but the bill is not limited to terror suspects and could have wider applications, some lawmakers said.

The government long has had substantial powers to intercept purely foreign communications that don’t touch U.S. soil.

If a U.S. resident becomes the chief target of surveillance, the government would have to obtain a warrant from the special FISA court.

Congressional Democrats won a few concessions in negotiations earlier in the week. New wiretaps must be approved by the director of national intelligence and the attorney general, not just the attorney general. Congress has battled with Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on several issues, and some Democrats have accused him of perjury.

The new law also will expire in six months unless Congress renews it. The administration wanted the changes to be permanent.

Many congressional Democrats wanted tighter restrictions on government surveillance, but yielded in the face of Bush’s veto threats and the impending August recess.

“This bill would grant the attorney general the ability to wiretap anybody, any place, any time without court review, without any checks and balances,” said Rep. Zoe Lofgren, a California Democrat, during the debate preceding the vote. “I think this unwarranted, unprecedented measure would simply eviscerate the 4th Amendment,” which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures.

Republicans disputed her description. “It does nothing to tear up the Constitution,” said Rep. Dan Lungren, a California Republican.

If an American’s communications are swept up in surveillance of a foreigner, he said, “we go through a process called minimization” and get rid of the records unless there is reason to suspect the American is a threat.

The administration began pressing for changes to the law after a recent ruling by the FISA court. That decision barred the government from eavesdropping without warrants on foreign suspects whose messages were being routed through U.S. communications carriers, including Internet sites.

ON THE WEB
The roll call vote for the surveillance bill can be found at http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2007/roll836.xml.

http://www.kansascity.com/news/polit...ry/219921.html
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:33 AM   #2
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Good thing the democrats are different from republicans.
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brock
Good thing the democrats are different from republicans.
How? The letters that make up the name of their parties?
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:49 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pikesome
How? The letters that make up the name of their parties?
That, and also different in the way that black cats differ from white cats.
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Old 08-06-2007, 11:49 AM   #5
the Talking Can the Talking Can is offline
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I don't know if I can support Democrats anymore.

They are cowards.

Outside of Feingold they are spineless pussies.

We deserve so much better. Just sickening.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Talking Can
I don't know if I can support Democrats anymore.

They are cowards.

Outside of Feingold they are spineless pussies.

We deserve so much better. Just sickening.
I tend to support neither, in general.
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Old 08-06-2007, 12:05 PM   #7
Cochise Cochise is offline
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Does anyone know what exactly this changes?

In the sound-byte media, all you ever hear is some vague practice called "warrantless wiretapping" or "domestic surveilance" but it's never explained what this actually permits and what is still illegal. Does anyone have anything concrete on what exactly it changes?

I like how much the Democratic congress is pissing off their base though.. all these years, conservatives had been trying to fight them... all they really needed to do was give them the majority back and let them act like themselves. They ran on getting out of Iraq and counteracting things like this and then not only don't stop either but participate in them once they get in office. What are they thinking?

They probably have lower approval ratings than Osama Bin Laden by now... can't imagine what it will be once they milk the war from here to election time.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Talking Can
I don't know if I can support Democrats anymore.

They are cowards.

Outside of Feingold they are spineless pussies.

We deserve so much better. Just sickening.

Not to mention enablers. Dems are foolish for relinquishing this moral high ground. Later on, they better not even try to claim laws were broken because if they do well then they'd better be ready to accept responsibility for being an accomplice to the illegality.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the Talking Can
We deserve so much better. Just sickening.
Sometimes I wonder if we do.
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A) are my ticket to the Hall of Fame.
B) would be better if they tasted like fruit and were shaped like various Flintstones characters.
C) are not for me, because I find that cocaine aids my performance much more effectively.
D) apparently worked for Rodney Harrison.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
Does anyone know what exactly this changes?

In the sound-byte media, all you ever hear is some vague practice called "warrantless wiretapping" or "domestic surveilance" but it's never explained what this actually permits and what is still illegal. Does anyone have anything concrete on what exactly it changes?

I like how much the Democratic congress is pissing off their base though.. all these years, conservatives had been trying to fight them... all they really needed to do was give them the majority back and let them act like themselves. They ran on getting out of Iraq and counteracting things like this and then not only don't stop either but participate in them once they get in office. What are they thinking?

They probably have lower approval ratings than Osama Bin Laden by now... can't imagine what it will be once they milk the war from here to election time.
The congress in general has low ratings; it's not just the Dems. I can't imagine a Republican liking anything about their elected officials over the last 8 years or so either. The two party system sucks.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memyselfI
Not to mention enablers. Dems are foolish for relinquishing this moral high ground. Later on, they better not even try to claim laws were broken because if they do well then they'd better be ready to accept responsibility for being an accomplice to the illegality.

This is excellent news - shut your whining about it all.
I doubt very seriously that the Government is interested in your boring ****ing life and your piddly redundant posting on this shitty message board, He is going after actual suspects, get over yourselves.
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Old 08-06-2007, 01:58 PM   #12
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Oh and if he takes out a small time dissenter, that's the breaks.
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Old 08-06-2007, 02:02 PM   #13
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Oh and if he takes out a small time dissenter, that's the breaks.
hedging your bets?
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Old 08-06-2007, 02:05 PM   #14
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Old 08-06-2007, 02:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by chagrin
Oh and if he takes out a small time dissenter, that's the breaks.
Remind me not to elect you to Congress or the White House.
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4. Performance enhancing drugs:

A) are my ticket to the Hall of Fame.
B) would be better if they tasted like fruit and were shaped like various Flintstones characters.
C) are not for me, because I find that cocaine aids my performance much more effectively.
D) apparently worked for Rodney Harrison.
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