Friday, August 3, 2007

Apprehensive about FISA expansion

The latest "secret" FISA ruling is good and bad. They struck down the governments ability to intercept foreign calls being transmitted in the U.S. under the FISA law. Republicans were quick to react and claim that they have Democratic support for expanding the FISA law to allow for the wiretapping.

After reading this article in the Post it does make some sense. If somebody in Afghanistan is talking to somebody in Iraq and that call is being transmitted through the U.S. (and yes many international calls are somehow routed through the U.S. amazingly) then why shouldn't the government be able to tap it? They are not American citizens and not entitled to our constitutional protection. So why am I still apprehensive?

Because as we know from 200+ years of democratic governance, government only expands, it does not contract. It is only a matter of time (probably not long) until this is expanded. Its bad enough they can already intercept a foreign call to an American citizen. I guess I can even swallow this but the shadowy nature of the whole process is what really concerns me. I feel as if we are getting the "trust us" wink. Well big surprise, I don't trust them.

Unnamed judges in secret courts whose records are sealed are going to protect our rights? Conservatives arguments on this are honestly pathetic. They talk in generalities about "fighting terrorism" or about "preventing another 9/11" but the reality is they would have a much different opinion if Bill or Hillary were president.

This brings me to ask a similar question that I posed to "conservatives" about the enemy combatant label issue: Do you trust Hillary Clinton with the ability to use unnamed judges, in secret courts, with classified results to not abuse that power?

1 comment:

BillT said...

The issue with executive power grabs goes back as far as Monroe. The issue with recent events is the length of the grab, now approaching 6 years. Not good.