Congress on Surveillance


Great Washington Post op-ed piece today from Sens. Rockefeller and Leahy and Reps. Reyes and Conyers. In it they are calling out the President on fear-mongering and blaming the Democrats for our vulnerability to terrorist attacks. There is no need for that sickening rhetoric here, say these leaders of the Intellegnece and Judiciary committees of both the House and Senate (yeah, they’re ballers). According to them, America is perfectly well protected by the 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, despite criticisms of it being out-dated.

The chairs write:

It is clear that he and his Republican allies, desperate to distract attention from the economy and other policy failures, are trying to use this issue to scare the American people into believing that congressional Democrats have left America vulnerable to terrorist attack.

But if our nation were to suddenly become vulnerable, it would not be because we don’t have sufficient domestic surveillance powers. It would be because the Bush administration has done too little to defeat al-Qaeda, which has reconstituted itself in Pakistan and gained strength throughout the world. Many of our intelligence assets are being used to fight in Iraq instead of taking on Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization that attacked us on Sept. 11 and that wants to attack us again.

Zing. Give the whole article a read. It provides a graet inside perspective for the rationale of the behavior around this piece of legislation. Don’t fret, ninjas.

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