Someone please help me out here. Last week Gonzo was up on Capital Hill and looked the U.S. Senate in the eye and lied. Gonzo lied to the U.S. Senate and how did they respond. Did they impeach him? No. Did they censure him? No. They voted 60 to 28 to expand the exact powers he was misusing. The message the U.S. Senate sent to Gonzo was simple, if you abuse the powers given to you on behalf of the American people, we will expand them.
Wash Post The legislation, which is expected to go before the House today, would expand the government’s authority to intercept without a court order the phone calls and e-mails of people in the United States who are communicating with people overseas.
The requirements that a foreigner be from al Qaeda or even the ill defined category of terrorist no longer exists. At least with a phone call there are some reasonable assumption a U.S.citizen has some knowledge when they are talking to someone oversees. With email its a little different, if I get a spam from Nigeria does that constitute communication? If so, would the government be limited from only ease dropping on that particular communication, or will all of my communication become part of the government data base.
Wired.com The law would only require that foreign intelligence gathering be a “significant purpose” of the installation. So in essence the government could order the nation’s backbone providers to let the government turn the internet into one giant monitoring device and examine internet traffic for signs of copyright infringement, domestic political dissent, pornography and parking ticket violators, so long as the NSA’s computer algorithms also scan packets for the term “Al Qaeda.”
This bill has nothing to due with stopping terrorism or al Qaeda, if it did the spying would have been limited to terrorist organizations, which the Bush administration rejected outright. This bill is about expanding the powers of a conservative nanny state. I am absolutely sickened that 60 U.S. Senators turned their back on the American people. Some of these Senators, like Jim Webb, were held up as the great Democratic hope, but when push came to shove they simply got on their knees in Lieberman like fashion (HT Bill O’Really I searched Google and even Daily Kos for this image with no luck. I am just lucky Bill still had it on his Fox site.)
The (send him some ping pong balls quick) Senate Majority leader in responding to White House criticism that the spy bill was not moving fast enough responded by stating, I can’t control Feingold. Feingold, one of the good guys, addressed this issue gallantly last week in the Fox hole. Here is a video from Olbermann that takes on the issue of expanded spying powers.