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FISA Live Debate Thread VI

FEINGOLD: Feingold calls bullshit. He got up there and said that WRT his amendment the White House pleadings could be redacted for security reasons before they’re turned over to congress. Then Kyl got up and asked if they could be redacted. Then Feingold said "yes, that’s what I just said." Now they’re all saying that the terrorists win if the pleadings can be seen. Feingold looks like Steve Martin pitching a fit in the airport in Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

[CHS here — jumping in to help Jane for a sec..]

WHITEHOUSE:  Going over the way wiretaps work — He’s pushing the need to have retrictions on how the Administration can spy on Americans — refined from Schumer and Feingold on Judiciary and by Whitehouse and others on Intel. Committee — Specter/Whitehouse Amendment.  "In order to understand this, you have to have a basic understanding on the operation of wiretap surveillance."  [CHS notes:  oooh, nice smack at Bond’s lack of comprehension on any of this.]

Says that the Court is not given oversight on whether procedures the court approved are, in fact, being followed — this Amendment adds that into the legislation.  Talking about how the wiretap works where there is a foreign person under surveillance, but there is an incidental intercept of an American.  When the purpose of this is enforcing minimization procedures that benefit the US person, it should not matter whether the target is an American overseas or in the US — the person who gets constitutional protection is a US person incidentally swept into the surveillance net.  Not a foreign person, who is not covered by FISA. 

Need to clear up this matter here, rather than have to force the courts to litigate this.  Says that he regrets that Bond is objecting to this Amendment even coming up — seeing how he worked with Bond to put this together in the first place, I can certainly see why.  Says he hopes that this is not some tactical maneuver to squeeze things together like the last time, trying to manufacture a rush where there ought not to be one.

BOND:  Goes through a whine about how to procede, and he’s not setting aside anything until someone tells him what he’s supposed to do.  Now trying to finesse the fact that his supported plan allows the executive branch to oversee itself on whether it thinks that it is doing a bang up job.  Because that’s worked out brilliantly thus far…yadda yadda yadda.

WHITEHOUSE:  Thanks Bond for his blather.  But your recollection of this is inaccurate and here are all the reasons why.

CARDIN:  Now wants to offer and amendment, and Kit Bond is yet again objecting to Whitehouse’s characterization of Bond’s inaccurate statements which Bond is now walking back in a convulted manner.  [CHS notes:  good God, there is not enough coffee in the entire universe…]  And now back to Cardin and his amendment.  It’s a sunset provision amendment.  Cardin says that he doesn’t feel that anyone here is completely confident that they have this right.  [CHS notes:  Agree with him there.  And again I say, you hand out immunity, it can never be walked back.] 

INHOFE:  Well, we are in for a scintillating treat now — he wants morning business time.  And Feinstein wants in after him.  [CHS notes:  Good heavens.  Did I say scintillating?  Someone wake me up when Inhofe stops talking.]

REID:  Asking if managers are on floor.  Kennedy to be recognized for 5 minutes, then Feinstein for 5 minutes, then Reid.  Kyl objects to the request, but has no objection to them asking individually for time because that makes a whle lot of parliamentary sense.

KENNEDY:  Amendment to allow for members of Congress to get classified briefings, and whatever is made public is only a redacted declassified fact briefing.  Need to have court and IG reviews of what happened, why, and what to avoid in terms of lapses in the future.  Makes point that WH will share docs with Senate Intel and Judiciary committees, but not with House because it doesn’t like their proposed bill.  Petty.  IG review is not some sort of fishing expedition — it is a review of the warrantless wiretapping, this is not partisan it is our jobs to know the answers on this. The American public deserves both their liberty and their security to be protected.  The only reason to vote against this is to vote for stonewalling and denial. 

Am starting a fresh thread momentarily…

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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