two cents

The erosion of liberty

If you've missed out on the FISA debacle, you're not alone. I'm shocked it's not getting more news coverage. Our freedoms are slipping away, and our Congress is at the wheel.

Here's a quick overview:
  • Post 9/11, Bush had a clear process for spying on suspected terrorists: he can go to a special FISA court and get a warrant if he had reason
  • Often within 24 hours
  • This includes, of course, spying on any American citizen
  • And if it's an emergency, he could even get it retroactively
  • With good reason
  • Instead of following this relatively simple "legal" process, he asked the telecoms to blanket spy on Americans without any sort of warrant. Most agreed. Some didn't.
  • There were secret rooms set up to monitor all internet and phone usage - indiscriminately
  • which is super-illegal
  • A bill proposed to give the telecoms immunity from prosecution, which was shot down because they committed a crime.
  • The house passed a "compromise bill" which has almost nothing changed from the original
  • The senate votes today
  • In the primaries, Obama stood up against it saying that the telecoms broke the law and should be held accountable
  • And now today he is voting for the bill...going back on his word, and siding with the companies and with the president
I want to like Obama. I really do. I think he's a reasonable man, with interesting ideas. I disagree with alot. I really disagree with this one.

Obamas response (weak, in my opinion, but well presented which is what he seems to be good at).
More on FISA & today's bill
More on the wiretap whistleblower
Diggers have made popular this flyer too, which debunks some FISA myths.
And here's Ron Paul's stance on it

I'll leave you with this:
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” - Samuel Adams